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Kenmare man crowned Fantasy Club champion

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Kenmare native John Crowley has been declared the winner of the first ever Killarney Advertiser Fantasy Club game after he romped home to victory with a whopping 51 points to spare.

Crowley, who is a garda in Killarney, finished head and shoulders above the competition thanks in part to the high-scoring exploits of his clubmates Dan McCarthy, Paul O’Connor and Seán O’Shea. The trio combined for 212 fantasy points over the course of the Kerry Senior Club Championship, which accounted for roughly a third of Crowley’s 653-point total.

The Kenmare man walks away with the grand prize: a brand new set of jerseys courtesy of league sponsors Gaelic Plus.

Kerry and Killarney Legion goalkeeper Brian Kelly made a late burst to overtake Philip O’Connor (Dr Crokes) in second; Kelly’s final round total of 104 was one of the scores of the round (no one else in the top five registered more than 55). The All-Ireland-winning keeper will be the toast of his Legion teammates as he claims the runner-up prize: 20 pairs of club-crested Gaelic Plus gloves. O’Connor, meanwhile, will receive a Gaelic Plus hoodie, training shirt and leisure shorts.

Castleisland’s Graham O’Connor finished just outside the prizes in fourth with Gneeveguilla senior footballer DJ Murphy rounding out the top five.

 

 

DREAM 15

A quick glance at the overall Team of the Tournament throws up one interesting stat as only two players from club champions Austin Stacks ended up making the dream 15.

This is perhaps explained by the fact that it was a real team effort by The Rockies. They had a spread of fantasy scorers both at the back and up front, and the manner in which key forwards like Darragh O’Brien, Shane O’Callaghan and Seán Quilter were rotated in and out of the starting line-up meant that they had no standout scorer over the course of the championship.

Beaten finalists Kenmare are the best-represented club in the Team of the Year with six players in total, and having the top forward (Seán O’Shea), top midfielder (Kevin O’Sullivan) and top “back” (Dan McCarthy) underscores how impressive a campaign they had.

 

 

It will be of scant consolation to them after the disappointment of last Sunday’s defeat but at least their friend and clubmate, John Crowley, will be bringing a new set of jerseys back to Fr Breen Park in not-too-distant future.

Speaking at the conclusion of the inaugural Fantasy Club competition, Killarney Advertiser Sports Editor Adam Moynihan congratulated the winners and thanked all of the participants for playing.

“Well done to our top three, especially to John who managed to select the perfect team,” he said. “This was our first year trying this out so we’re very grateful to everyone who got involved, not least our sponsor, Shane Cronin of Gaelic Plus.

“The feedback has been really positive so we’re looking forward to coming back bigger and better for Fantasy Club 21.”

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Clifford and Moran start as Kerry name strong team for Mayo clash

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by Adam Moynihan

Star forward David Clifford and veteran midfielder David Moran have both been named in Kerry’s starting lineup for Sunday’s do-or-die All-Ireland quarter-final against Mayo.

Clifford missed the team’s last match, the Munster final against Limerick on May 28, due to a calf injury he sustained in the previous outing against Cork.

The Killarney Advertiser understands that the Fossa native could have played in that provincial decider but Jack O’Connor and his backroom team opted to keep him in reserve, anticipating that he wouldn’t be needed. That proved to be a wise decision as The Kingdom coasted to a 23-point victory in Killarney.

Nevertheless, Kerry football’s gossipmongers are never not at it and speculation about Clifford’s status has been rife this past week. O’Connor confirmed on Monday that Clifford should be okay, although the somewhat unconvincing nature of his response gave some fans further cause for concern.

However, as was reported in today’s Killarney Advertiser, the three-time All-Star is, indeed, available for selection and he is set to reclaim his No. 14 jersey for Sunday’s crunch game in Croke Park.

Meanwhile, David Moran makes his first start for Kerry this season after recovering from a groin injury that ruled him out for the entirety of the league. Jack Barry misses out on the panel entirely, as does half forward Adrian Spillane. Their absence is likely due to injury, although this has not been confirmed.

There is also a place in the starting lineup for Dara Moynihan. The Spa player missed the Munster Championship with a quad injury.

Paul Geaney retains his place at corner forward with Tony Brosnan and Killian Spillane dropping to the bench.

In other news, Kerry will wear their traditional green and gold home jersey against Mayo for the first time since 2011. Both teams have sported their away kits whenever they have met in recent seasons but this time they opted for a toss of a coin, which Kerry won. Mayo will wear their black away shirts.

KERRY TEAM TO FACE MAYO

1. Shane Ryan (Rathmore)

2. Graham O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearses)

3. Jason Foley (Ballydonoghue)

4. Tom O’Sullivan (Dingle)

5. Brian Ó Beaglaoich (An Ghaeltacht)

6. Tadhg Morley (Templenoe)

7. Gavin White (Dr Crokes)

8. David Moran (Kerins O’Rahillys)

9. Diarmuid O’Connor (Na Gaeil)

10. Dara Moynihan (Spa)

11. Seán O’Shea (Captain – Kenmare Shamrocks)

12. Stephen O’Brien (Kenmare Shamrocks)

13. Paudie Clifford (Fossa)

14. David Clifford (Fossa)

15. Paul Geaney (Dingle)

Subs: S Murphy, T Brosnan, K Spillane, P Murphy, M Burns, J O’Connor, J Savage, G Crowley, D Roche, J O’Shea, S Okunbor.

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St Mary’s respond to coach’s claims about disbanded team

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St Mary’s Basketball Club Castleisland have refuted claims made by their former Super League coach surrounding the sudden disbanding of the team.

When the club decided to pull its Super League side citing a lack of numbers, coach Liam Culloty responded with a statement on Twitter saying that he and his players were “shocked and disappointed” with the move.

“Currently we have eight Irish players from around the county fully committed to playing Super League and we had hoped with the addition of one or two professional players along with some of the fantastic underage talent emerging in the county that we would have a squad more than capable of competing,” Culloty said.

“Alas, we were never given this opportunity to recruit further players to the squad.”

Culloty also expressed his dismay that he and his players were notified by text message.

“[There was] no effort made to meet the players and management informing them of the decision before it was released to the media on Saturday. The very least we felt we deserved was the opportunity to fight our corner and see could a solution be found to allow the team to stay in the league.”

The club issued another statement this week refuting some of Culloty’s claims, while also apologising for the manner in which the decision was communicated.

“Contrary to what is being portrayed by the statement on Twitter, St Mary’s is a local club and not a county set-up, i.e. not a Kerry team. It would appear from reading the statement that the coach had an ambition for this to be a Kerry set-up, yet this was something that was never brought up for discussion with St Mary’s who were financing the team.

“We are a club team, our first loyalties are to our club and club members. While we are, and always have been in the past, happy to welcome link players in, at no time during recent discussions had any individual player from any part of the county expressed to the club an interest to link or indeed transfer for next season. Conversations had been had with the coach regarding player numbers, the opportunity to recruit has been there since the end of the 2021/22 season.

“A phone call to the coach to inform him of the decision that had been made not to continue in Super League was placed on Friday, June 10. The call went unanswered and was not returned, due to the approaching Basketball Ireland deadline a text message was then sent. However, prior to this, the coach had been aware and involved in discussions and several club meetings were held around the issue.

“The club does regret that players were made aware of the decision by text message. The message thanked players for their dedication over the years and apologised that players were not being met in person. A committee member also phoned all players the following day.

“Team members have since been contacted again, apologised to for being told by text and have been given the opportunity to meet face to face if they wish.”

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