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Kerry book Dublin date with eight-point victory over Mayo

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Adam Moynihan reports from Croke Park

All-Ireland SFC Quarter-Final

Kerry 1-18 Mayo 0-13

HT: Kerry 1-7 Mayo 0-9

He wasn’t going to play at all according to the pre-match rumours but a beautiful first-half goal by David Clifford helped Kerry to a surprisingly comfortable victory over Mayo this evening.

Although he limped through much of the game, Kerry’s No. 14 burst into life in the 28th minute to fire his side into a two-point lead.

It wasn’t all plain-sailing thereafter - The Kingdom struggled to push on, even when Aidan O’Shea was black-carded moments later - but they did ultimately pull away in the second half thanks in no small part to another assured defensive performance.

Next up: a date with Dublin in the All-Ireland semi-final in two weeks’ time.

STRANGE

The so-called curtain-raiser was a hard act to follow and the first half of this game was accompanied by a strange atmosphere; it was as though the crowd were as drained by the opening match as the Armagh and Galway players must have been following their penalty shootout drama.

The second match was delayed by a full hour, which surely didn’t help Kerry and Mayo in their preparations.

Kerry star Clifford was rumoured to be struggling with an injury right up until throw-in but he did take to the field, although he required treatment almost immediately when he went over on his ankle in front of the Canal End. Nevertheless, he registered Kerry’s first score of the day, a free to cancel out Cillian O’Connor’s opener.

Gavin White gave Kerry the lead with a neat finish in the third minute but then two well-taken scores by Conor Loftus and Aidan O’Shea edged Mayo in front.

Paul Geaney missed a great goal chance in the 11th minute before Kerry re-established their lead via Tom O’Sullivan and another Clifford free.

Seán O’Shea and Geaney took Kerry’s total to 0-6 but points at the other end by O’Connor, Rob Hennelly, Jack Carney and Stephen Coen had Mayo ahead with seven minutes left in the period.

Then Clifford struck for goal after being set up by Stephen O’Brien, and when O’Shea was sent to the bin the signs were ominous for Mayo.

James Horan’s men managed the binning well, however, and scores by O’Connor and Kevin McLoughin – either side of a fine effort by David Moran – made it a one-point game at the break.

RUN

The opening stages of the second were nip and tuck with neither team really grabbing the match by the scruff of the neck but a run of seven straight points between the 51st and 67th minutes sealed the result. Moran (who rather unexpectedly – and very encouragingly - played the full 70 minutes), Tom O’Sullivan, Geaney (three), Killian Spillane and Seán O’Shea all found the target during this period.

Kerry now have two weeks to prepare for the challenge of Dublin. Speaking post-game, Jack O'Connor said he reckons David Clifford will be sore tomorrow. One suspects that his best player will be wrapped up in cotton wool for the next few days at least.

KERRY: S Ryan; G O’Sullivan (0-1), J Foley, T O'Sullivan (0-3); B Ó Beaglaoich, G White (0-1), T Morley; D O’Connor, D Moran (0-2); D Moynihan, Seán O’Shea (0-3, 1f), S O’Brien; P Clifford, D Clifford (1-3, 1m), P Geaney (0-4, 1m).

Subs: K Spillane for Moynihan (48), P Murphy for Ó Beaglaoich (58), M Burns for O’Brien (59), J O’Connor for D O’Connor (65), T Brosnan for Clifford (67), G Crowley for Foley (73 temp).

MAYO: R Hennelly (0-1f); L Keegan, O Mullin, E Hession; P Durcan, S Coen (0-1), E McLaughlin; A O’Shea (0-1), M Ruane (0-1); J Flynn (0-2), D O’Connor, C Loftus (0-1); K McLoughlin (0-1), J Carney (0-1), C O’Connor (0-3, 1f).

Subs: J Carr (0-1) for Carney (HT), F Boland for Loftus (52), A Orme for McLaughlin (58), P O’Hora for O’Shea (64), P Towey for Orme (73).

Attendance: 71,353

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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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