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Ten-man Celtic complete stunning upset to reach last eight

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KILLARNEY CELTIC are this week reflecting on what can only be described as the greatest day in their 40-year history. For the first time ever they have reached the quarter finals of the FAI Junior Cup. And with Sunday’s incredible victory over Ballynanty this particular crop of Celtic players have proven once again that on their day they can mix it with the very best teams in Ireland.

The home side, Limerick cup holders Ballynanty Rovers, went into the game as firm favourites and Celtic’s task was made all the more difficult by the absence talented striker Cathal O’Shea (suspended) and regular left back Brendan Falvey (broken hand).

They suffered a major setback early 20 minutes in when Gary Keane, who was filling in at centre half, was caught on the wrong side of an onrushing Ballynanty striker at the edge of the area. Keane was adjudged to have brought down his opponent and received his marching orders for denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity. As if the brief weren’t already challenging enough for Celtic, they would now have to play the remaining three-quarters of the game a man light.

The visitors saw out the half and managed to weather a very heavy storm early on in the second, thanks in no small part to goalkeeper Roy Kelliher who denied the Balla attack with a string of high quality saves. The vociferous home crowd must have felt as though a goal was inevitable, but when it came it was the green and white faithful who were celebrating.

Young striker Stephen McCarthy, who was deputising for the suspended O’Shea, pounced on a loose ball inside the opposition area and smashed Celtic into the lead with seventy minutes on the clock. All of a sudden, the side from Kerry were on course for another shock victory.

The healthy Celtic following may have been in dreamland then, but things got even better ten minutes later. With Balla pressing for an equaliser, man of the moment Wayne Sparling - who hit two in the previous round against Newmarket - latched onto a long ball before bearing down on goal and applying a typically cool finish.

The hosts did manage to pull one back but Celtic held on for another momentous victory.

The club are now looking forward to the draw for the next round which takes place in the Aviva Stadium on Wednesday, February 15. The management team and captain John McDonagh have been invited to attend.

Celtic will be joined in the hat by holders Sheriff YC of Dublin and Limerick kingpins Janesboro, as well as Kilmallock (Limerick), Boyle Celtic (Roscommon), Carrick United (Waterford), Peake Villa (Tipperary) and Evergreen (Kilkenny).

Manager Brian Spillane is optimistic when it comes to his side’s chances in the next round. “I think we’re due a home draw at this stage. It’d be fantastic to get a quarter final at Celtic Park,” he said.

“We’ll be looking to go on another step. We know that’ll be a massive ask again but I don’t think we’re finished yet. I think there’s more to come.”

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Kathleen honoured as new boat is launched

It was a very special and momentous day for Muckross Rowing Club on Sunday – as not only did they launch a new boat – but did so to honour a life-long supporter. Members and supporters gathered at the club’s boathouse as the club’s newest racing boat, a Janousek coxed four, was officially launched in […]

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It was a very special and momentous day for Muckross Rowing Club on Sunday – as not only did they launch a new boat – but did so to honour a life-long supporter.

Members and supporters gathered at the club’s boathouse as the club’s newest racing boat, a Janousek coxed four, was officially launched in honour of Kathleen Murphy. The event was made all the more special as it had been so long awaited by the club. While the boat was purchased prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a launch event at the club was not possible until the recent easing of public health restrictions.

Among the crowd gathered were members of the extended Murphy and Kenny families as well as many of Kathleen’s neighbours and friends from Mangerton Road and beyond.

Kathleen (nee Kenny) was born and raised in Muckross and has enjoyed close family ties with the rowing club from childhood to the present day. The Kennys of Muckross and their extended family have long played a central role in the club extending to over a century, reflected in the names of boats named and launched before in honour of other family members including Micheal Kenny and Jack O’Shea. Kathleen has long been among the most prominent and recognised club’s supporters at the annual Killarney Regatta, proudly sporting the club’s yellow colours while cheering on crews at all levels from Juvenile to Senior and Veteran. Together with her late husband Jerry, Kathleen has also played a central role in fundraising for the club with countless tickets sold weekly for the local Muckross Lottery since its launch in early 1990s. Both Kathleen and Jerry were previously recognised for their contribution to the club and both named as Vice Presidents. Kathleen and Jerry’s children and grandchildren continue the family tradition both on the lake and onshore, contributing to the club’s success and development as active rowers, coaches and committee members.

Presiding over the launch was Club Chairman Sean Daly and the blessing of the boat was carried out by Fr Kieran O’Brien.

The club was also delighted to welcome Emer Corridan, General Manager of the Cahernane House Hotel – whose sponsorship of the club supported the boat’s purchase.

The ceremonial popping of the champagne cork was carried out by Kathleen’s granddaughter Áine, and after a sprinkling of the bow, the boat was formally launched on the water by five of Kathleen’s grandchildren – Áine and Shona O’Sullivan, Daniel, Jack and Katie Murphy. The special launch event was an emotional day for the family and club with many memories of Kathleen’s late husband Jerry, whose anniversary was recently observed, in addition to family members gone before. Speaking on behalf of Kathleen, her son Kieran spoke of the great honour for Kathleen and her family to have one of the club’s racing boats named in her honour. Kieran expressed the family’s gratitude to the club, its committee and Chairman Sean Daly, President Maurice Coffey and Vice Presidents and to all the members, supporters and friends in attendance. The ceremonial proceedings were followed by refreshments outside the club’s new boathouse.

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Stylish Miriam wows at the races

When it comes to the style stakes, one local lady proved she’s got it after winning the female Most Stylish Racegoer this week. Miriam Prendergast from Killarney was selected by fashion blogger and judge Emily O’Donoghue aka @fashionablyfortyish on Sunday, the opening day of the Listowel Harvest Racing Festival. Benny O’Keeffe from County Meath was […]

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When it comes to the style stakes, one local lady proved she’s got it after winning the female Most Stylish Racegoer this week.

Miriam Prendergast from Killarney was selected by fashion blogger and judge Emily O’Donoghue aka @fashionablyfortyish on Sunday, the opening day of the Listowel Harvest Racing Festival.

Benny O’Keeffe from County Meath was also selected for his style and both winners each received a €400 cash prize, sponsored by McElligotts Tralee and Honda Ireland.

Miriam wore a black bustier wide legged jumpsuit with belt, styled with a very feminine one sleeve off white blouse with ruched details. She both designed and made the outfit herself and paired it with a headpiece she borrowed from a friend who got it in MacBees Killarney. She finished her look with a pretty vintage bag.

Benny wore a sky blue suit he purchased in Burtons, paired with a merl grey waistcoat, set off with a soft pink shirt cleverly coordinated with a pink and grey check tie. He purchased his very dapper hat in the Ukraine.

The runners-up in the ladies category each received a generous hamper from McElligotts Tralee with special thanks to McGuires Pharmacy Listowel. The runners-up in the gents category received tickets to the Sunday of the June Bank Holiday race meeting in Listowel in 2022.

Of course, there is more to come in the style stakes with one of Ireland’s most prestigious best dressed events – the McElligotts Honda Ladies Day – making a most welcome return this year to the racecourse today (Friday), judged by style icon Celia Holman Lee, it has an overall cash prize fund of €1,000 and the winner will also receive the most amazing beauty hamper sponsored by McGuire’s Pharmacy.

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