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Killarney Celtic boss hails ‘brave’ players

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KILLARNEY CELTIC have booked their place in the last 16 of the FAI Junior Cup following a remarkable victory over Newmarket Celtic in Clare on Sunday.

Kerry teams seldom make it beyond the last 32 in junior soccer’s showpiece competition (Celtic last made it this far thirty years ago) and manager Brian Spillane believes his players’ willingness to play possession football was pivotal to their success. “When you come up against the top teams you have to be brave,” he said.

“You have to be able to play soccer. When it was 2-2 we were keeping the ball, we were working triangles, and even when we went 3-2 up with four minutes to go we were still holding onto the ball. There was loads of confidence in the team. We were very brave.”

In a pulsating tie that ebbed and flowed, the boys from Killarney showed great character to come from behind and eventually overcome very strong and highly fancied opposition in Clare champions Newmarket. Spillane certainly wasn’t thrilled when their name came out of the hat. “Before the draw was made Newmarket were one of the teams I just didn’t want to play. Especially away from home - I don’t think they had been beaten there in three years - so I knew it’d be a tough task.”

Indeed Celtic were 11/2 outsiders to prevail on the day and any brave Killarney punters would have feared the worst when Newmarket took a first half lead through Paddy Purcell, the former League of Ireland centre half heading home from a corner.

Celtic responded well, however, and they found themselves on level terms shortly after, last season’s Player of the Year Wayne Sparling latching on to Cathal O’Shea’s pass before firing coolly beyond the home keeper.

It didn’t take long for Sparling to double his tally. This time Gary Keane provided the assist for the talented forward who broke free of the Newmarket defence and lobbed the keeper from outside the box.

A controversial incident ten minutes before half time led to a double red card when Celtic striker Cathal O’Shea apparently got involved in a bust up of sorts with a Newmarket defender. Both players received their marching orders so Celtic will have to plan for the next round without O'Shea and also left back Brendan Falvey who broke his hand during the game.

Confidence was high after the restart but Celtic suffered a major setback on the hour mark when Newmarket were awarded a questionable penalty. Star striker Eoin Hayes duly converted and the sides were level once more.

With the game deadlocked at 2-2 and the final whistle fast approaching it appeared as though extra time was on the cards – but there was still time for one final twist.
Substitute Conor Randall's corner was cleared but the ball made its way back out to him on the wing. At the second time of asking his cross found right back Chris O’Leary who rose highest to head Celtic into the last 16 and send the travelling support into raptures.

Spillane felt those away fans were crucial. “They made a big difference. There were a lot of old heads on the sideline, guys like Frankie Roberts, the two Huggards, Ray Hoctor, Pat O’Neill, Karl McMahon, Noel Brosnan… All the players have huge respect for these fellas and when you see them on the line it raises it another level. Altogether there were about eighty supporters. It was fantastic.”

Celtic can now look forward to the draw for the last 16 and the manager is clear on what they want. “We’ll be looking for a home draw and then try to get to a quarter final,” Spillane said. “The way we’re playing this year and the confidence we have at the moment it’s going to take a good team to knock us out.”

Celtic (4-2-3-1): Roy Kelliher; Chris O’Leary, Jamie Spillane, John McDonagh, Brendan Falvey; Gary Keane, Pa McGrath; Wayne Sparling, Matt Keane, Stephen Hayes; Cathal O’Shea. Subs: Peter McCarthy (for Falvey), Conor Randall (for McGrath), Connall Murphy (for Sparling).

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Sadness at death of much loved Killarney man

The town was saddened to learn of the death of Brendan Joy who passed away peacefully on Tuesday at his home in the loving care of his family. Brendan (88), […]

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The town was saddened to learn of the death of Brendan Joy who passed away peacefully on Tuesday at his home in the loving care of his family.

Brendan (88), from Muckross and formerly of Plunkett Street, who worked in the International Hotel and as a Jarvey, was laid to rest yesterday (Thursday) in Aghadoe Cemetery following Requiem Mass in St Mary’s Cathedral.

Brendan was predeceased by his beloved wife Mairéad and baby daughter Maura, his brothers John, Jerry, Pat, Willie and sister Nancy.

He’ll be sadly missed by his daughter Breda, sons Liam, Michael, Brendan, Martin, Pat and Andrew, daughters-in-law Margaret, Eileen, Norma and Helena, his grandchildren Brendan, Mairéad, Charlie, Claire, James, Kevin, Orla, Maurice and Maura, sister Mary Sie (London), brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, relatives, neighbours and many great friends.

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Local activities this weekend for National Heritage Week

A number of events will take place in Killarney this weekend as part National Heritage Week 2022 which runs until this Sunday. This year’s theme is biodiversity and sustainability. Tomorrow […]

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A number of events will take place in Killarney this weekend as part National Heritage Week 2022 which runs until this Sunday.

This year’s theme is biodiversity and sustainability. Tomorrow (Saturday) the Life in the Bogs – Family Funday in Cronin’s Yard, Beaufort, runs from 10.30am – 2.30pm.
Activities include; Bog in a Bottle activity – learn about how bogs are made, Plants of the Bog – learn about the different plants in the bog and how to tell them apart, Pond Dipping in Bog Pool – Use nets and find out what creepy crawlies can be found in Bog pools, Birds and Mammals of the Bog – learn about the different animals that live in our bogs, and a Scavenger Hunt. Tickets are free but bring €2 for parking.

On Sunday the Harpers for Heritage concert takes place at Muckross Schoolhouse with Fiachra Ó Corragáin, Máire Ní Chathasaigh and Chris Newman from 7.30pm to 9pm.

There’ll also be an exhibition from the Killarney National Park Photography Competition based on the theme of ‘Our History, Our Future’ in Killarney House and Gardens while the Me and the Moon will create Bee/Bug hotels and sustainable eco bird feeders today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday) from 11am – 4pm at Muckross Schoolhouse.

The Heritage Council is encouraging people to visit www.heritageweek.ie to see what other events are taking place in their locality or across the country. Participants can browse the website and create a bespoke National Heritage Week ‘Events Trail’ to help them plan their week according to their location, their particular heritage interests and their preferred event type, such as a festival, performance, exhibition or re-enactment.

“This year, National Heritage Week looks to the past to create a better future,” Chief Executive of the Heritage Council of the Heritage Council, Virginia Teehan, said.

“The theme of sustainable heritage and biodiversity encourages us all to reflect on how our history and heritage can play a part in protecting our planet. Whether it’s learning a new skill like embroidery, blacksmithing or pottery making; better understanding how to prevent biodiversity loss in our own back gardens or country lanes; or gaining fresh insight into the history of our art, music or the Irish language and sharing this knowledge among friends and family, there are endless ways to get involved. I would encourage people to visit the National Heritage Week website and browse the vast array of events and projects taking place and plan their week.”

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