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Looney: You can’t but be impressed by Corofin

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In the wake of his side’s heartbreaking defeat to Corofin in the All-Ireland Club Final, experienced Dr Crokes forward Brian Looney has spoken of his admiration for the Galway champions and the style of football that they play.

Last Sunday’s decider in Croke Park had been billed as a dream final between two heavyweights of club football but Corofin completely dominated their Kerry counterparts en route to a 2-16 to 0-10 win.

Speaking exclusively to the Killarney Advertiser this week, Looney told of his frustration and disappointment that he and his teammates hadn’t played to their potential, but above all else he was full of praise for Corofin.

“It’s very difficult when you’re chasing a team who are playing really well and at the peak of their performance,” he said. “You can’t but be impressed with the type of football they play and the way they go about it.

“I knew myself that they were a good side but they proved that the last day. They played really, really well. They just didn’t allow us to get involved at all. I was saying it to someone there over the past couple of days: Croke Park is a lonely place when you feel like you’re chasing shadows.”

Crokes won’t have much time to lick their wounds. They’re back in action this and next weekend in the County League and then it’s the Club Championship in April. For Looney, that’s a good thing.

“Look, (the club schedule) is difficult. But it’ll be good to get back into it fairly soon rather than dwelling on what happened last Sunday. I think there has been a lot of talk about the All-Ireland Club Finals and when they’re on... In an ideal world they might be brought forward to give teams an opportunity to have a break after.

“I think the county set-up as it was last year, with the Club Championship being run off all in one month and the County League being played every couple of weeks, was a good format and it certainly helped. I suppose we had the dilemma of the fixtures because we were successful.

“But it won’t be a bad thing to be playing a bit of ball as soon as possible and get rid of the cobwebs from the performance last weekend.”

Looney is one of the veterans in this Dr Crokes squad - he played in his first County Final as an 18-year-old back in 2005 – and he’s one of a number of players with a lot of mileage on the clock. Do they ever find it hard to stay motivated, particularly after a defeat like this?

“I don’t think so,” Looney says. “At times you might feel like it’s hard but when you get a chance to reflect, you start to realise that we have a great group around us. Fellas are good to rally each other when we need to and there’s plenty at stake with the Club Championship and the league coming up, and then County Championship later in the year.

“I’m sure it’ll take a bit of time to get over the way the Corofin defeat happened, but we’ll regroup. Your career doesn’t go on forever. We just want to make the most of the successful spell that we’re having at the moment.”

One player who will not be lining out for the Crokes this weekend is Eoin Brosnan. The 38-year-old former Kerry senior, who was a second half substitute against Corofin on Sunday, has announced his retirement from club football with immediate effect. Looney wished his teammate well.

“To have Brossy around the dressing room and to play with him and learn from him... He has been a huge influence on all of us, myself included.

“I’m delighted for the man. He’s had a fantastic career and he owes nothing to the club or to the county after everything he’s given over the past number of years.”

For full reaction to the All-Ireland Club Final as well all the latest sporting news, pick up a copy of today's Killarney Advertiser.

Pic: Eamonn Keogh.

 

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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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