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Looney and McMahon shine as Celts beat Geeha

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U17 League
Killarney Celtic 3-0 Mastergeeha
Celtic Park

Killarney Celtic extended their lead at the top of the Kerry U17 League with a solid win over Mastergeeha on Monday night, thanks in no small part to a midfield masterclass from dynamic duo Evan Looney and Cian McMahon.

Looney and McMahon lined out at centre mid for the Hoops and together with tricky No. 10 Cian McCarthy they dominated proceedings, featuring prominently in all three of their side’s well-taken goals.

The hosts took the lead in the 15th minute when Looney whipped in a delightful, left-footed cross from deep and winger Dylan O’Callaghan was on hand to direct an accurate header back across the goal and into the corner of the net.

Geeha, who are currently seventh in the league, were up against a strong Celtic team but to their great credit they dug in and made it to half-time just one goal in arrears.

The killer second goal arrived early in the second, however, and it was Looney again who did the damage, this time ghosting into the penalty area to apply a neat finish from 12 yards out. The visitors’ heads understandably dropped thereafter and with Pádraic Looney and Jack Cooper in control at the back, Celtic never really looked like conceding.

Looney and McMahon continued to pull the strings and the latter deservedly got his name on the scoresheet late on when he beat his man before rifling an unstoppable shot beyond the reach of the Geeha keeper from all of 22 yards.

Geeha fought manfully throughout but they just couldn’t fashion a clear-cut opportunity, despite threatening on the counter-attack on numerous occasions in the second half. The effort certainly wasn’t lacking, especially not from Daniel Herlihy, Cian Murphy and Phil O’Leary who battled hard to stem the tide.

All in all, coach Conor McCarthy will be pleased with Celtic’s showing in what was their penultimate game of the regular season. Their place in the league semi-finals is guaranteed and they now appear likely to finish first in Section B of the U17 League. They are currently five points clear of Ballyhar Dynamos in second and 12 points clear of Tralee Dynamos in third, although the latter have a couple of games in hand. Ballyhar can secure a top two finish by defeating Dynamos at home on Saturday.

First and second in Section B will play first and second in Section A in the league semi-finals at the end of the season. On the other side of the draw, Rattoo Rovers and Park are favourites to advance.

Man of the Match: Evan Looney/Cian McMahon. Both were excellent.

Celtic: A Carey, L O’Donoghue, P Looney, J Cooper, D Falvey, C McMahon, E Looney, D O’Callaghan, C McCarthy, G Osieba, A May Keane. Sub: P O’Sullivan.

Mastergeeha: C Fleming, D Brosnan, S Warren, D Herlihy, C Murphy, N McCarthy, P O’Leary, S Kennedy, C Moynihan, D O’Riordan, D Tangney. Sub: A O’Connor.

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Relegation battle has town divided

By Sean Moriarty This is bigger than the county final itself – with the main prize on offer being bragging rights in the town. After an unprecedented run of events during this year’s Kerry Senior Football championship Killarney’s two biggest clubs, Dr Crokes and Killarney Legion are set to face off in a relegation battle […]

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By Sean Moriarty

This is bigger than the county final itself – with the main prize on offer being bragging rights in the town.

After an unprecedented run of events during this year’s Kerry Senior Football championship Killarney’s two biggest clubs, Dr Crokes and Killarney Legion are set to face off in a relegation battle that is sure to divide the town.

In sporting terms, the outcome of the big game, set for December 5, is simple enough. The winner stays in the Senior Championship next season and the losers will have to play in the Intermediate Championship.

Fans of the black and amber or the green and white face an anxious week. Winning the county title is one thing – consigning your cross town rivals to second division football in football is altogether a bigger prize.

Senior officials from both clubs are being very guarded on a potential outcome as both sides know the significance of this play off.

“It is a pity that two Killarney clubs, with a long tradition of playing football in the top tier, find themselves in the position of having to play off to avoid relegation,” Matt O’Neill, Cathaoirleach of Dr Crokes, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“Both teams will fight tooth and nail to stay in the senior ranks. I am confident that on Sunday week our lads will do themselves and the club proud, as always, and give their all in the quest to keep the black and amber to the fore.”

Crokes are based off the Lewis Road with Legion a short distance away on the other side of the bypass.

“Everyone has an opinion on this,” Legion PRO, Elaine O’Donoghue, told the Killarney Advertiser. “Both sides will be nervous – may the best team win. There are a lot of questions, are the Crokes suffering after defeat to Kerins O’Rahillys [in the semi-final]? Are our lads suffering after losing to St Brendan’s for the third year in a row?”

Every football fan will be keeping a close eye on next weekend’s Intermediate County Final too which takes place on December 4.

The winners of the match between Beaufort and Tralee side Na Gael will be automatically promoted to replace the losers of the Killarney play-off in the Senior Championship next season.

Should Beaufort prevail, a (relatively) local team could replace a town team in the top flight.

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Handball off the wall in Killarney

By Con Dennehy The popularity of handball as one of the fastest growing sports in Kerry is set to continue in the East Kerry region with the continued development of Spa/Killarney Handball Club. On Monday night the progressive club hosts a Beginners and Advanced League at their magnificent indoor facility located at the Spa GAA grounds […]

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By Con Dennehy

The popularity of handball as one of the fastest growing sports in Kerry is set to continue in the East Kerry region with the continued development of Spa/Killarney Handball Club.

On Monday night the progressive club hosts a Beginners and Advanced League at their magnificent indoor facility located at the Spa GAA grounds in Killarney. The club boasts two state-of-the-art indoor handball walls which were designed and built by local player and sportsman Mike Casey. It was opened in May 2018.

“On Monday night the games will tip off at 7pm with 11 players in the Advanced League and seven in the Beginners League. The format of the competition will see quarter finals in the first round progressing to overall winners on the night. It promises to be a great night of exciting handball and we welcome spectators,” said Eoin O’Donoghue, secretary of the club.

Competitors taking part in the Beginners League are Sheila Kelliher, Elena O’Donoghue, Niamh Faulds, Rosin King, Brid Horgan, Neill Horgan and Sinead Moriarty.

Players signed up for the Advanced League include Aoife Walsh, John Daniel Cronin, Eoin O’Donoghue, Kieran O’Brien, Brendan O’Donoghue, Michael Clifford, Evan Enright, Eoghan Daly, Brian McEvoy, Jerry Cronin and Maggie Quirke.

One player set to receive a warm welcome will be Brendan O’Donoghue. At the 2019 All-Ireland Hardball championships in Mayo, Brendan became the first Spa/Killarney man to win an All-Ireland Handball medal. He achieved this unique and much publicised honour in the highly ranked Master’s 55 B final.

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