The trailblazing Killarney RFC U16 girls team are bidding for more silverware on Sunday when they play Limerick giants Shannon RFC in the Munster Cup final. The match kicks off in Musgrave Park in Cork at 11am.
The Killarney side made history in January when they defeated Ennis in the final of the Munster League. Kerry teams rarely prosper against teams from Munster’s traditional rugby strongholds. Victory this weekend would seal a remarkable double.
“The girls have had a fantastic season to date and they beat a very good Ennis side in the cup semi-final in Clare three weeks ago,” coach Diarmuid O’Malley told the Killarney Advertiser. “The girls have been playing very expansively but it was their defensive performance in the semi-final that got them over the line. They literally didn’t let their opponents play and we will be looking for more of the same when we take on Shannon on Sunday.
“Shannon will be doing everything in their power to deny the Kerry girls a unique double. It should be a fascinating encounter and the girls would welcome all the support they can get from the Kingdom.”
The Limerick outfit have been impressive so far in the cup, defeating the likes of Kilrush/Scariff, Clonakilty, and Ballincollig en route to the final.
Killarney will be looking to captain Fia Whelan for inspiration, while the skilful Niamh Dorrian will also be a key player. Dorrian scored a hat-trick in that Munster League final earlier in the year.
Survey reveals Kerry fans’ expectations for 2023
A start-of-season survey carried out by the Killarney Advertiser has revealed Kerry supporters’ expectations ahead of the 2023 campaign, which gets underway on Sunday with a league match against Donegal.
Kerry enjoyed a perfect year in 2022 as Jack O’Connor led his team to glory in the National League, Munster Championship and All-Ireland Championship. It would be an incredible achievement to replicate that success again this time around, but some supporters seem to think that it can be done.
Around 73% of those polled believe that Kerry will reach another All-Ireland final, with the majority (42%) predicting that Sam Maguire will be staying in the Kingdom for another year at least. Just under a quarter of respondents (23%) think that Kerry will fall at the semi-final stage, however, with the remainder (4%) anticipating a quarter-final or round robin exit.
1. How far will Kerry go in the championship?
All-Ireland round robin – 1%
All-Ireland quarter-final – 3%
All-Ireland semi-final – 23%
All-Ireland final (runners-up) – 31%
All-Ireland final (winners) – 42%
That’s what supporters expect to happen, but what would they be happy with? When asked what would constitute a “good year” for Kerry in 2023, 54% stated that only an All-Ireland will do. A further 32% said they would be content with another All-Ireland final appearance. So, effectively, the vast majority of Kerry supporters (86%) won’t be happy unless their team at least makes it to the All-Ireland final on July 30.
2. Kerry need to ___________ for 2023 to be classed as a “good” year.
Reach the All-Ireland round robin stage – 1%
Reach the All-Ireland quarter-final – 3%
Reach the All-Ireland semi-final – 10%
Reach the All-Ireland final – 32%
Win the All-Ireland final – 54%
Neighbours Cork gave Kerry a real hiding in the McGrath Cup at the beginning of this month but it appears as though fans from this side of the county bounds are placing little stock in that particular result. Over 96% of supporters expect Kerry to win their provincial championship. A very small minority (3%) are fearing the worst, i.e. Cork winning Munster.
3. Who will win the Munster Championship?
Kerry – 96%
Cork – 3%
Someone else – 1%
Expectations are lower for the immediate future, however. With several players out injured and others – including star player David Clifford – being rested, most fans reckon Kerry will finish mid-table in Division 1 of the National League. Over half of the readers who responded to our survey (52%) think Kerry will finish 3rd or 4th in the eight-team pool, with roughly one-in-five expecting a 5th or 6th place finish.
Despite the lengthy list of absentees, 21% of supporters are still optimistic that Kerry can retain their Division 1 title. At the other end of the scale, around 1% think Kerry will be relegated.
4. Where will Kerry finish in Division 1 of the National League?
1st or 2nd (winners) – 21%
1st or 2nd (runners-up) – 8%
3rd or 4th – 52%
5th or 6th – 18%
7th or 8th (relegated) – 1%
When asked which opponent they are most wary of heading into the new season, the vast majority of Kerry fans singled out the same Division 2 team.
5. Which opposition team should Kerry be most worried about in 2023?
Dublin – 78%
Tyrone – 7%
Armagh – 6%
Cork – 3%
Derry – 3%
Mayo – 2%
Galway – 1%
Jack O’Connor’s side travel to Ballybofey on Sunday for their first competitive outing of the season. Throw-in is at 2pm with the match being televised live on TG4.
Follow @AdamMoynihan for all the latest Kerry GAA news
“Argentina have Messi but we have the Messiah”
By Michelle Crean Calls for full civic reception for David Clifford Superstar footballer David Clifford has been compared to Argentina’s Messi. At Monday’s full Kerry County Council meeting councillors were full of […]
By Michelle Crean
Calls for full civic reception for David Clifford
Superstar footballer David Clifford has been compared to Argentina’s Messi.
At Monday’s full Kerry County Council meeting councillors were full of praise for both the Fossa and Rathmore teams who won their respective finals a day earlier in Croke Park. Fossa became the All-Ireland Junior Football Champions when they beat Stewartstown Harps, while Rathmore secured the AIB All-Ireland Intermediate Club Football title.
Cllr Mike Kennelly said “we are currently witnessing the greatest footballer ever” as he called for a full civic reception to honour David Clifford.
“I think he’s the greatest inspiration to every Kerry person. We, as an authority, as a county need to acknowledge this. We need to acknowledge David’s greatness and inspiration on his unrivalled success over the last 12 months. Argentina has Messi but we have the Messiah and we’ve got to protect him and honour that. Most people will agree with us that he is the greatest we have ever seen.”
However, cautiously Cllr Cahill added that it’s better to hold a civic reception for both teams rather than single out one player.
“I’m not too sure about singling out David. Maybe talk to the family on that. Paudie got an All Star this year and last year and was Man of the Match at several games. I’m not saying we shouldn’t do it but tease it out a little bit further.”
The matter was referred to the CPG.
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