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Honours even in Newbridge as Kildare snatch deserved draw

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Adam Moynihan reports from St Conleth's Park

National League: Division 1

Kildare 0-13 Kerry 1-10

HT: Kildare 0-6 Kerry 1-7

A rousing second-half fightback saw Kildare snatch a point against Kerry in Newbridge this afternoon, and not even the most devout Kerry fan could deny that the hosts were worthy of their draw.

Two late points by the excellent Jimmy Hyland drew The Lilywhites level and although Kerry had a chance to win it at the death, Tom O’Sullivan was unable to drive his soccer-style snapshot through the posts.

It was an eventful return to Kildare for Kerry boss Jack O’Connor. There were some positives – particularly in the opening period – but ultimately he will be left frustrated by the fact that his new team only managed three points in the entirety of the second half.

VOCIFEROUS

Cheered on by a vociferous home crowd, Kildare burst into life right from the throw-in and early points by Paul Cribbin and Kevin Flynn gave them a 2-0 lead.

Kerry needed a settler and they got the perfect remedy in the sixth minute when Killian Spillane manufactured a shot from a tight space in front of goal. His effort rather trickled over the line but they’re all worth three, and Kerry were off the mark for the 2022 campaign.

Seán O’Shea, operating i lár na páirce in the absence of a number of midfield candidates, pointed a great effort from distance to make 1-1 to 0-2 in Kerry’s favour. The lively Hyland pulled one back for Kildare before O’Shea tagged on another point, this time from a free.

Paudie Clifford stretched Kerry’s lead out to three with a fabulous score and then Hyland and O’Shea exchanged another couple of frees. It was around this time that one would be expecting a water break but those days are gone, and it must be said that the fare was all the better for it.

Jack O’Connor’s men were beginning to shift through the gears now and Tom O’Sullivan and David Clifford both outfoxed their markers within a matter of seconds to score and make it a five-point game.

Hyland was the real bright spark for the hosts and he added two more to this tally to keep his side in contention.

Kerry were dealt a major blow in the 28th minute when Gavin White had to be helped from the field after being dragged down fairly unceremoniously, but the half ended on a positive note when Clifford floated over a typically sensational point.

In fact, it could have been far worse for Kildare; on the stroke of half-time, Clifford dragged an attempt on goal wide after being teed up by Dara Moynihan.

SCRAPPY

The second half was largely scrappy but Kildare deserve huge credit for fighting their way back into the contest. Apart from fine efforts by Paul Geaney, Paudie Clifford and substitute Tony Brosnan, Glen Ryan’s defence kept their illustrious counterparts quiet for most of the second 35.

At the other end, scores by Paddy Woodgate (three), Kevin Flynn and Paul Cribbin chipped away at Kerry’s lead.

Fittingly, it was left to Hyland to finish the job, and finish it he did. His 74th-minute free after a robust challenge by Adrian Spillane levelled matters for the first time, and Kerry’s last-ditch efforts to create an opening came to nought.

A point away from home is far from fatal from Kerry’s point of view, but an improved offensive display will be required if they are to give Dublin a rattle in Round 2.

KILDARE: M Donnellan; M O’Grady, S Ryan, R Houlihan; J Sargent, J Murray, T Archibald; K O’Callaghan, K Flynn (0-2); P Tuohy, P Cribbin (0-2), B McCormack; P Woodgate (0-3, 1f), D Flynn, J Hyland (0-7, 3f).

Subs: Feely for O’Callaghan, N Flynn for McCormack, McDermott for Tuohy.

KERRY: S Murphy; D O'Donoghue, J Foley, T O'Sullivan (0-1); P Murphy, T Morley, G White; S O'Shea (0-3, 2f), A Spillane; M Burns, P Clifford (0-2), D Moynihan; K Spillane (1-0), D Clifford (0-2), P Geaney (0-1).

Subs: Ó Beaglaoich for White, Savage for Burns, Brosnan (0-1) for K Spillane, Horan for Moynihan.

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Glorious weather for Kerry County Coastal Rowing championships

It was a day of glorious sunshine yesterday (Sunday) as Flesk Valley Rowing Club hosted the 2022 Kerry County Coastal Rowing championships for the very first time in beautiful Castlelough […]

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It was a day of glorious sunshine yesterday (Sunday) as Flesk Valley Rowing Club hosted the 2022 Kerry County Coastal Rowing championships for the very first time in beautiful Castlelough Bay on Lough Lein.

Hundreds flocked to the Valley shore to see the coastal clubs of Kerry race in crews from Under 12 to Masters. As well as clubs from around the Ring of Kerry, there was a strong representation from the Killarney clubs with the Workmen, Commercials and Fossa wearing their colours with pride. The atmosphere, colour, fun and fierce competition produced a spectacular day that will live long in the memory.

The event was opened by the Councillor John O’Donoghue, vice chair of the Killarney Municipal District who congratulated Flesk Valley on their centenary, which occurred during 1920, and wished all of the clubs a successful day’s racing.

The first race was preceded by a special blessing of the boats by Fr Eugene McGillycuddy, who also remembered Brendan Teahan of Cromane Rowing Club in his prayers.

Afterwards John Fleming, chair of Flesk Valley, expressed his immense pride and satisfaction with the success of the regatta.

“It’s our first time ever hosting a regatta, but we wanted to do something special to mark our 102 years in existence,” he said.

“It was a lot of work, but we have a fantastic hard-working committee in Flesk Valley who really pulled out all the stops to make it happen, and we received fantastic support from our members, parents, other clubs and local businesses.”

John also thanked the Kerry Coastal Rowing Association, in particular Mary B Teahan and Andrew Wharton, and the staff of the Killarney National Park for all their support and encouragement in hosting this event.

This was a qualifying event and the Kerry clubs will be heading to Wexford next weekend to complete for honours at the All-Ireland Coastal Rowing Championships.

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Live referee mics should be the norm – swearing concerns be damned

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by Adam Moynihan

I was disappointed to learn that the GAA are preventing TG4 from using their live referee mic in this Sunday’s Wexford hurling final.

(And not just because I had already written an article saying how great live referee mics are and how they are sure to be implemented across the board. Ctrl + A. Delete.)

TG4’s GAA coverage is superb and they raised the bar once again when they mic’d up referee John O’Halloran for the Kerry hurling final between Causeway and Ballyduff.

Pinning a microphone on the referee is standard practice in televised rugby and judging by the positive response to Gaelic games’ first foray into this territory, I was expecting it to become the norm.

It still might but, explaining their decision to The 42, the GAA said that they were not aware beforehand of the ref mic being trialled in Stack Park on Sunday.

“They believe such a development will require more discussion and education if it is to be implemented on a more regular basis in live TV coverage and could possibly need a policy change,” Fintan O’Toole reported.

The image of the Association is surely the primary concern here.

Players and managers – usually the worst behaved participants when it comes to things like swearing – will be among those who get “educated” on the subject. Some verbal abuse that might otherwise be muted for television viewers will, in all likelihood, be picked up by the referee’s microphone. You would imagine that the teams involved will be reminded of this the week of a televised game.

It also makes sense from Croke Park’s point of view to speak to referees and give them guidance on how to conduct themselves when the mic is on.

In fact, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if senior GAA figures are currently fretting over the possibility of an agitated ref making headlines for something they say in the heat of the moment. And make no mistake about it, some match officials can eff and jeff with the best of them.

A friend of mine (a Wexford man, funnily enough) recalls an incident when a teammate was unceremoniously taken out of it by an opponent.

“Ah ref, for f***’s sake!” the victim complained.

“I gave you the f***ing free,” the referee replied. “What do you want me to do, slap him in the face with a wet fish?!”

The GAA might think that a referee swearing like that would leave all of us red-faced. In reality the clip would be a viral sensation and the general public would probably call for the official in question to run for Áras an Uachtárain. (He’d get my ****ing vote.)

The odd swear word from someone involved is bound to sneak through every now and then but you’d hear the same – and plenty more – at any match you attend from Cahersiveen to County Antrim.

Implementing the referee mic on a wider scale is a no-brainer as far as I’m concerned. It doesn’t appear to take a huge amount of effort or expense for the broadcaster to set it up and, more importantly, it offers a wonderful insight into the unknown.

Listening to referees explain their decisions in real time will clear a lot of things up for commentators, analysts and the media. We will no longer have to speculate about what they did or did not see, or what specific rule is being cited, or why.

Viewers, especially those who might be casual followers of the sport, will appreciate it too and become more educated; I know that’s how I feel when I watch rugby, for example.

It just leads to greater transparency and understanding.

Well done to TG4 and the Kerry County Board for being the pioneers. I’m sure others will follow their lead – as soon as the GAA allow them to do so.

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