Players from Dr Crokes and Kilcummin dominate the 2018 Killarney Advertiser Sport Team of the Year with 11 footballers from the two clubs making the final cut.
It was another dominant campaign for the Crokes as they won the Club Championship, County League, County Championship, Munster Championship and East Kerry Championship, and six of Pat O’Shea’s charges have been selected in the Advertiser’s first ever All-Star team.
2018 was also a landmark year for Kilcummin as they bounced back to Division 1 of the County League while also securing the much-coveted Kerry and Munster Intermediate crowns. Five of their players, all of whom were also key members of the East Kerry team who reached the semi-final of the Kerry SFC, ultimately got the nod.
The line-up is completed by four players from three other clubs in East Kerry (Fossa x2, Firies and Rathmore).
Kerry star David Clifford is the 2018 Killarney Advertiser Sport Player of the Year while Kilcummin defender Seán O’Leary has been named Young Player of the Year. Interestingly, David and Seán are the same age and played alongside one another on the victorious Kerry minor team of 2017.
All senior footballers from Killarney and the surrounding areas were eligible for selection and all competitions (divisional, county and intercounty) were taken into account. Considering the amount of talent in the district at the moment, it certainly wasn’t easy to narrow it down to just 15 and a number of guys will undoubtedly feel hard done by.
Here’s the team I went with in the end (and my reasoning below):
1. Brendan Kealy (Kilcummin)
The former Kerry number 1 kept four clean sheets in five games as his side clinched the County Intermediate crown and he marshalled a defence that conceded just 1-11 in three games in the Munster Championship. That superior defensive record puts him slightly above the other candidates for the position.
2. John Payne (Dr Crokes)
This year Payne was deservedly handed the captaincy and he was a key player as the Crokes secured a record-breaking 13th County Championship (his 7th) back in October. Invariably tasked with guarding the opposition’s main threat, the diminutive defender is rarely beaten over the course of an hour.
3. Mike Moloney (Dr Crokes)
Crokes’ defence was far from airtight at the start of the year but veteran full back Moloney came good towards the business end of the season, crucially keeping Dingle danger man Paul Geaney quiet in the County Final. The performance prompted teammate Daithí Casey to call him “one of the most underestimated full backs in the county”.
4. Mike Joe Kelliher (Rathmore)
Rathmore came up short in the County Championship before relinquishing the O’Donoghue Cup to Crokes in December, but the performances of veteran defender Mike Joe Kelliher still caught the eye. The experienced man marker was also named Rathmore’s MVP by teammate Shane Ryan in the 2018 Killarney Advertiser Players’ Review.
5. Seán O’Leary (Kilcummin)
Former Kerry minor star O’Leary announced his arrival on the senior scene in May when he netted two goals in the Intermediate final against Glenflesk. His performances earned him a call up to the East Kerry team for whom he also impressed. A young man with a bright future in the game.
6. Gavin White (Dr Crokes)
Displaying maturity beyond his years, White showed great consistency in both the black and amber of Crokes and the green and gold of Kerry. The Kingdom fell well short of the mark in 2018 but White was excellent in his debut season, earning an All-Star nomination on the back of a string of assured displays.
7. David O’Leary (Dr Crokes)
In 2018 Buddy firmly established himself as an important part of Pat O’Shea’s half back line. The tough-tackling Woodlawn native is an imposing prospect for any forward in the county and he is also very composed on the ball, often initiating attacks with his unselfish play.
8. Kieran Murphy (Kilcummin)
An athletic midfielder who can field amongst the best of them, Murphy was a stand-out performer for his club throughout their historic 2018 season. He also captained the Kerry juniors to All-Ireland glory in June. His injury later in the year undoubtedly hampered East Kerry’s prospects in the County Championship.
9. Jack Sherwood (Firies)
Sherwood was an integral member of the Firies team who gained promotion to Division 3 of the County League but it was with East Kerry that the versatile all-rounder really sparkled. The former Kerry senior was spectacular for the East as they rampaged their way through the opening rounds of the championship.
10. Shane McSweeney (Kilcummin)
A midfielder by trade, Todd proved his worth at half forward for both his club and his district throughout 2018. His physicality around the middle third was crucial as Kilcummin ground down all-comers in the Intermediate, so much so that his teammate Kieran Murphy chose him as his side’s MVP in our Players’ Review.
11. Paudie Clifford (Fossa)
The elder Clifford brother’s swashbuckling performances for Fossa, East Kerry and the Kerry juniors make him an automatic choice on this Team of the Year. Blessed with pace, toughness and skill, Clifford wreaked havoc against every team he faced.
12. Kevin McCarthy (Kilcummin)
McCarthy was excellent in the Kerry Intermediate Championship, putting teams to the sword with his incisive solo runs and eye for goal. Kilcummin’s sole Kerry senior is deceptively rapid and his unselfish hard work was crucial throughout his side’s history-making 2018 campaign.
13. Tony Brosnan (Dr Crokes)
Brosnan grabbed national headlines last year and rightly so. The silky corner forward put up ridiculous numbers in the County Championship, most notably against An Ghaeltacht when he notched 1-14 (1-11 from play) with no wides. A contender for Player of the Year.
14. David Clifford (Fossa)
It was a year to remember for David Clifford as he made his breakthrough with the Kerry seniors and quickly established himself as a leading light. His last gasp goal against Monaghan will live long in the memory, and he deservedly earned an All-Star nod for his efforts. The prodigious youngster also starred for East Kerry as they reached the last four of the County Championship. The 2018 Killarney Advertiser Sport Player of the Year.
15. Kieran O’Leary (Dr Crokes)
There were rumours back in 2017 that Kieran O’Leary’s starting berth for Dr Crokes was in real jeopardy. So much for that. The 31-year-old was phenomenal in 2018, showing form reminiscent of his minor days as he pulled the strings in the Crokes full forward line to devastating effect. His incredible goal in the O’Donoghue Cup final was the icing on the cake.
Go on…put the kettle on to help a good cause!
TEA TIME: Nora Murphy, Mary Lehane and Betty Carmody, drinking a cuppa as they raise awareness about this year’s Virtual Tea for Motor Neurone Disease which takes place on June 21.
By Michelle Crean
June 21 is Global Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Awareness Day and one local group is calling for participants to get involved.
Christy Lehane, Chairman of Kerry Friends of Motor Neurone and Ambassador for the IMNDA, will take part in the Virtual Tea for MND fundraiser and awareness event.
“We never thought this time last year that 12 months later we would be doing Virtual Tea for MND,” Christy told the Killarney Advertiser.
“In these COVID times our fundraising efforts have all ceased, but sadly there is no slowing down of Motor Neurone Disease. Providing the support and services to our Motor Neurone sufferers is now more important than ever before. I am now appealing to all you good people and friends who have supported us in the past to please hear my plea. I myself will drink Virtual Tea for MND again this year. So go on, put on the kettle and take out the china tea pot and get family and friends around to the garden for a brew and a catchup for a great cause. If you do not feel comfortable with having people around, you can go very modern and go Zooming and encourage your friends to do so also. I am aware that some of our MND sufferers are themselves organising Virtual Tea Drinking get togethers.”
Participating SuperValu stores are on board again this year providing tea bags etc. to raise awareness of MND, and staff will be asking shoppers for donations for the IMNDA starting on June 7 to 21.
“I seldom seek donations and financial support, but perhaps in these COVID times when our need is greatest you might be moved to help us.”
Every year MND Associations across the globe mark June 21 as a special day of recognition where the International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations across the world undertake a range of activities to raise awareness and keep focused on the search for the cause, treatment and eventual cure for this terrible disease.
You can donate to www.imnda.ie or if you can contact Christy Lehane Chairman of Kerry Friends of Motor Neurone and Ambassador for the IMNDA on 087 9671011.
Laura’s new look for Leaving Cert
NEW LOOK: Laura Cronin, who is currently sitting her Leaving Cert, cut 14 inches off her hair for The Rapunzel Foundation.
By Michelle Crean
Rathmore’s Laura Cronin headed into her Leaving Cert exams this week with a whole new look after transforming her hairstyle for charity.
Laura, daughter of Una and Donal from Rathbeg, cut 14 inches off her hair for The Rapunzel Foundation.
As her long locks didn’t get cut over the last year Laura decided to get a good chop in Katelynn’s Hair Design in Rathmore instead, and use the left over hair to create wigs for sick children.
“I thought, rather than trim it I’d cut a lot off,” Laura, who hopes to study pharmacy in college, told the Killarney Advertiser. “I wanted to cut off a lot of it, I was sick of long hair. I said that if there’d be enough I’d donate it as it’d be a shame to see it on the floor.”
Laura said that hopefully it can make a child happy if it allows them to receive a specially made wig for their First Holy Communion, or a similar occasion.
“I’d encourage anyone who has long hair to think about what they could do with it.”
€1m upgrade for Killarney store
INVESTMENT: DV8 have invested €1m to update their store in the Killarney Outlet Centre. Pictured at the reopening were staff members: Clodagh McCarthy (Store Manager), Lorraine McGough (Assistant Manager), Anuka Altanson and Sarah Murphy. Photo: Don MacMonagle
A popular Killarney fashion shop, which reopened last week, securing up to 15 jobs, has had a facelift after a €1 million investment.
Leading fashion retailer DV8, which has a network of over 50 stores across Ireland, reopened its 4,000 square feet store in the Killarney Outlet Centre.
And customers admired the new look.
DV8 sells over 40 top fashion clothing brands as well as footwear and accessories in its stores and online at www.dv8fashion.com. The hip fashion house is well-known for its uber cool shop interiors and has dedicated customers across Ireland and the UK.
“We are delighted to be reopening our new store in Killarney and confident it will compliment the existing retail offering in the town, with DV8’s unique range of male and female clothing and footwear,” David Scott from DV8 said.
“We think local shoppers will enjoy the DV8 experience, including the top fashion brands and excellent customer service.”
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