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O’Donoghue Cup Preview: High stakes semi for Crokes and Spa, Legion take on Gneeveguilla

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East Kerry Championship: Semi-Final Spa v Dr Crokes Sunday at 2pm Fitzgerald Stadium

Sunday’s Killarney derby between Spa and Dr Crokes promises to be a high-octane affair as both sides vie for a spot in the final of this year’s O’Donoghue Cup.

This rivalry has been fairly one-sided down through the years but Spa turned the tables back in June when they picked up a long-awaited 1-14 0-15 league victory up in Tullig. A first-half goal by Ciarán Spillane kept Spa in contention that day and late points by Shane Cronin (two) and Ryan O’Carroll proved crucial as the Crokes fell to a shock defeat.

All things told, it was an up-and-down league campaign for Spa and they finished up seventh in Division 1 with six wins and five defeats. They were naturally disappointed to have exited the Intermediate in the group phase but there was some joy in the championship for many of their players as 13 Spa men were part of the East Kerry team who won the Kerry Senior Football Championship earlier this month.

The absence through injury of Dara Moynihan is a blow but the fine form of those East Kerry boys, particularly the likes of Dan O’Donoghue, Liam Kearney, Shane Cronin and Even Cronin, bodes well heading into the business end of the East Kerry Championship. Victory over Crokes on Sunday would send Spa through to their first final since 1989 when they beat Gneeveguilla after a replay.

In recent years, the O’Donoghue Cup has been an opportunity for the Crokes to put the cherry on top of the icing on top of their cake. This time out, the O’Donoghue Cup is whole cake. Last weekend’s defeat to Dingle in a County League back game means that the Crokes are now facing the unfamiliar prospect of finishing 2019 trophyless.

Remarkably, the Lewis Road club have won at least one piece of silverware in each of the past 15 years and they will be keen to keep that run going by retaining the trophy they won back from Rathmore in 2018.

The winners of this match will take on either Legion or Gneeveguilla in the final next week. With the Crokes failing to advance to Munster for the first time in four years, the East Kerry Board will (barring replays) manage to get the tournament finished by December 8, two weeks earlier than last year’s decider which took place on December 22.

 

 

Gneeveguilla looking for another scalp

East Kerry Championship: Semi-Final
Killarney Legion v Gneeveguilla
Saturday at 2pm
Fitzgerald Stadium

The Magic of the Cup™ rarely applies to the East Kerry Championship. Since 2004, only two teams (Dr Crokes and Rathmore) have lifted the O’Donoghue Cup so it has been a lean spell indeed for the underdogs. Could Gneeveguilla buck the trend?

This year’s Division 3 champions were fancied by many to give out-of-form Rathmore a good game last weekend but I’m not sure how many people thought they’d go out and actually win it. But win it they did.

A Shane Crowley goal gave the Junior Premier outfit the perfect start and they led by five, 1-6 to 0-4, at the interval. A second goal early in the second helped to open up a commanding 2-7 to 0-4 lead and despite a spirited Rathmore comeback, they just about held on to win by a solitary point. Gneeveguilla defender DJ Murphy was named Man of the Match.

Next up for Gneeveguilla are another Division 1 club in the Legion. The Killarney side had a resounding victory over Fossa in the last round, eventually winning with 15 points to spare.

As a senior club, Legion will naturally be favourites to advance to their fourth final since 2013 but Stephen Stack’s side will have to be wary of the threat posed by their semi-final opponents. If they do manage to get over the line, an all-Killarney final against either the Crokes or Spa beckons.

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NPWS survey to find out impact of fires

By Michelle Crean The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April. The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find […]

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By Michelle Crean

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April.

The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find out the biological impacts of the fires in the 26,000 acre park.

The fires in April burned from Friday night on April 23 until around 12pm the following Monday when they were finally brought under control.

Parts of the Park were scorched resulting in flora and fauna being wiped out. Some fires came as close as 10 metres to a church and school in the Black Valley area.

Fires raged near Tomies Wood and fire crews from five different districts quenched fires near the properties under threat. A real threat was for The Oak Woods but fire fighters managed to avert danger.

The fire is believed to have begun on the Kenmare Road area escalated by the strong winds.

“The purpose of this tender is to commission a comprehensive survey of the impacts, and the chrono-sequence of fire recovery or otherwise, on lands burned over the past four decades, as well as surveys in unburned areas, in order to assess the biological impacts of the fires, in particular the fire of April 2021, on the biodiversity of Killarney National Park,” an NPWS spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser.

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Killarney spin will bring comfort to patients

By Michelle Crean Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town. Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22. This year due to COVID […]

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By Michelle Crean

Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town.

Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22.

This year due to COVID restrictions the 54321 team will run with two teams of five people, all female – who are raising funds for one single charity – Comfort for Chemo Kerry.

Their four day challenge will include a cycle the Ring of Kerry on day one (Thursday 19), a climb up Carrantuohil on day two (Friday 20), a cycle from Killarney to the foot of Cnoc Na Tobair and then climb Cnoc Na Tobair on day three (Saturday 21) finishing off with a cycle of the Skellig Ring on day four (Sunday 22).

In advance of the ninth annual challenge they will first participate in the spinathons at various locations to help raise much needed funds for this year’s chosen charity.

The first of the spinathons will take place on Saturday, July 31 in Listowel, Killorglin, Dingle, Cahersiveen. On the day volunteers will take to the spinning bikes from 10am to 5pm in different locations around these towns.
This will be followed by Killarney on Sunday, August 15, and Tralee on Saturday, August 28.

When choosing this year’s charity, organisers contacted a past participant and a dear friend, Mairead Dunphy from Glencar who is currently on her own journey with cancer.

“We wanted to show our support to Mairead and knowing that she would like to support those who have supported her on her journey so far, she had already being looking at ideas to raise much needed funds for Comfort for Chemo Kerry,” TJ O’Connor said.

“Please support Comfort for Chemo Kerry by giving what you can.”

For more information about the spinathons go to www.54321challenge.org or the Comfort for Chemo Kerry Facebook page for online donation information.

There’s also a GoFundMe page: ‘Comfort for Chemo Kerry – 54321 Challenge 2021’ which has a €20,000 target set up.

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