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Dramatic Athletic victory tees up all-Killarney KDL final

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For the third time in five years, Killarney clubs Celtic and Athletic will feature in the KDL Premier A League Final. The big match will take place in Mounthawk Park, Tralee on Sunday at 2pm.

Athletic secured their spot in the crunch decider on Wednesday night when they defeated fellow top-two contenders Castleisland by two goals to one. The Blues needed all three points to overtake an Island side who only required a draw.

Things were looking bleak for Stuart Templeman’s team when Castleisland took a first-half lead at Mounthawk Park through Tommy Feehan, but Athletic showed great resilience to battle their way back into contention. The 2017 champions equalised before half-time when Tadhg Doolan converted a Kian McCann cross.

The second half was a tense affair with Athletic on the front foot in search of that elusive goal that would send them through to the final. They finally broke the deadlock with 10 minutes to go when youngster Roko Rujevcan found the back of the net, and that strike was enough to seal the deal.

Celtic, who finished the season with a perfect record of 14 wins from 14 matches, will naturally go into the final as strong favourites. Athletic will take great heart from Wednesday’s win, however, and with the likes of Shane Doolan, Eoin Moynihan, Donal Kelliher and Brendan Moloney in their ranks, they have the steel and skill to push their crosstown rivals all the way.

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Killarney set for festival of football at Spa GAA’s Club 7s

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The third annual Killarney Club 7s tournament will be staged next weekend (June 1-2) at Spa GAA grounds with 36 clubs and over 500 players due to take part.

The hugely successful event has already become a popular fixture of the local sporting calendar with large crowds flocking to Tullig for two days of football and entertainment.

With Heineken as title sponsors and support also coming from the likes of Kellihers Toyota, Killarney Credit Union, Sheahan’s, GMIB.ie, Daly’s SuperValu and O’Callaghan Coaches, attendees will be treated to top quality food and drink on site, as well as a wide array of live music. Acclaimed group Chasing Abbey are the headline act on Saturday with Super Céilí rounding things off on Sunday night.

On the pitch, men’s and women’s teams from all over the country will compete for €10,000 in prize money.

Matches will be played across three excellent pitches, all of which can be easily viewed from all areas of the grounds.

The group stages will be played on Saturday with the knockout rounds scheduled for Sunday. Participating teams include Confey from Kildare, St Finbarr’s from Cork, Castleknock from Dublin and, all the way from Germany, Berlin GAA.

The hosts Spa won the 2023 men’s final in dramatic fashion when a last-gasp goal saw them beat Cuala in front of a boisterous crowd.

Free shuttle buses will be running to Killarney when the festivities wind down at 10pm each night.

For more information, visit killarneyclub7s.ie.

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Fierce rivals Celtic and Athletic set for tense Kerry District League final

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Killarney Celtic’s dominance of the local junior soccer scene appears to show no signs of letting up after the Derreen-based club added more silverware to their cabinet last Sunday – but their fiercest rivals are hoping to rip up the script in this weekend’s league final.

Last week the Hoops defeated Tralee Dynamos in the final of the Greyhound Bar KO Cup to make it six-in-a-row in the county’s most prestigious knockout competition.

Lee Downing was the hero on the day as he scored twice in the first half to put his side in the ascendency. In the end, that was enough to get the job done as the Killarney lads held on for a 2-0 win.

The Celts have the opportunity to complete another league and cup double this weekend, although they will be pushed all the way by a talented young Killarney Athletic outfit in the Premier A final.

The match will take place on Sunday at 4pm in Mounthawk Park in Tralee and Brendan Moloney’s Blues will be eager to bring their neighbours’ remarkable run to an abrupt end.

Athletic will unfortunately be without stalwart Shane Doolan who recently suffered an ACL injury.

Supporters of both clubs are urged to make the journey to Tralee and get behind their teams for one last time this season.

The Killarney Athletic B team play Iveragh United in the Tommy Healy Cup final replay at the same venue at 1pm.

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