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TEAM NEWS: Kerry recall O’Brien for Cork showdown

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Kerry manager Peter Keane has drafted in experienced half forward Stephen O'Brien for this Sunday's do-or-die Munster Senior Football Championship semi-final against Cork.

O'Brien, who did not travel to Monaghan for the penultimate round of the Allianz National League and was a second-half substitute in the side's recent match against Donegal, comes in at the expense of Micheál Burns in Kerry's only change from that title-clinching victory a fortnight ago.

Keane will be hoping that the Kenmare Shamrocks man can put in another big performance against Cork; O'Brien was Man of the Match when the sides last met, in the Munster final in June of last year.

On the other wing, Listry's Ronan Buckley is set to make his championship debut after suitably impressing the management team throughout the final part of Kerry's post-lockdown league campaign.

Meanwhile, Tony Brosnan of Dr Crokes will make his second senior championship appearance in the green and gold, over four years after making his first. Brosnan will line out in the full forward line alongside team captain David Clifford, with No.15 Dara Moynihan likely to do most of his work further out the pitch.

As has become customary for this Kerry set-up, the substitutes will be named on the day of the game.

 

Kerry team to play Cork:

  1. Shane Ryan (Rathmore)
  2. Jason Foley (Ballydonoghue)
  3. Tadhg Morley (Templenoe)
  4. Tom O'Sullivan (Dingle)
  5. Paul Murphy (Rathmore)
  6. Peter Crowley (Laune Rangers)
  7. Gavin White (Dr Crokes)
  8. David Moran (Kerins' O'Rahilly's)
  9. Diarmuid O'Connor (Na Gaeil)
  10. Stephen O'Brien (Kenmare Shamrocks)
  11. Seán O'Shea (Kenmare Shamrocks)
  12. Ronan Buckley (Listry)
  13. Tony Brosnan (Dr Crokes)
  14. David Clifford (Fossa - Captain)
  15. Dara Moynihan (Spa)

 

Cork revealed their team last night (Thursday) and bainisteoir Ronan McCarthy will hand starts to three debutants, namely full back Maurice Shanley, centre back Seán Meehan, and centre forward Colm O'Callaghan.

Mark Keane, the Mitchelstown native who has been playing AFL for Melbourne side Collingwood, is named on the bench.

 

Cork team to play Kerry:

  1. Micheál Martin (Nemo Rangers)
  2. Sean Powter (Douglas)
  3. Maurice Shanley (Clonakilty)
  4. Kevin Flahive (Douglas)
  5. Kevin O’Donovan (Nemo Rangers)
  6. Sean Meehan (Kiskeam)
  7. Mattie Taylor (Mallow)
  8. Ian Maguire (St Finbarr's - Captain)
  9. Killian O’Hanlon (Kilshannig)
  10. John O’Rourke (Carbery Rangers)
  11. Colm O’Callaghan (Eire Óg)
  12. Ruairi Deane (Bantry Blues)
  13. Mark Collins (Castlehaven)
  14. Brian Hurley (Castlehaven)
  15. Luke Connolly (Nemo Rangers)
  16. Anthony Casey (Kiskeam)
  17. Sam Ryan (St Finbarrs)
  18. Paul Ring (Aghabullogue)
  19. Michael Hurley (Castlehaven)
  20. Tadhg Corkery (Cill na Martra)
  21. Paul Walsh (Kanturk)
  22. Kevin O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh)
  23. Sean White (Clonakilty)
  24. Paul Kerrigan (Nemo Rangers)
  25. Mark Keane (Mitchelstown)
  26. Damien Gore (Kilmacabea)

 

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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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Popularity of Ladies Gaelic Football on the rise

According to official TAM Ireland figures, 491,000 tuned into TG4’s coverage of the TG4 Ladies Football finals on Sunday with an average audience of 204,900 people watching the live broadcast […]

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According to official TAM Ireland figures, 491,000 tuned into TG4’s coverage of the TG4 Ladies Football finals on Sunday with an average audience of 204,900 people watching the live broadcast of the Senior Final between Meath and Kerry.

The match had a 30.6% share of viewing among individuals. Viewing peaked at 5.10pm with 279,800 viewers as Meath closed in on the two in a row to retain the Brendan Martin Cup.

A total 46,400 attended the match in person in Croke Park on Sunday, the first TG4 Ladies Football Final to have full capacity allowance since 2019.

Viewers from over 50 countries tuned into the finals on the TG4 Player with 14,000 streams of the game from international viewers. Over 20,000 streams were also registered from Irish viewers.

TG4 Director General Alan Esslemont said: “My deepest gratitude to all the counties especially Wexford and Kerry who battled to the end through this season’s Championship, hearty congratulations to both Laois and Meath and I am really looking forward to the re-match of Antrim and Fermanagh which will be carried live on TG4. A special word of thanks goes to the huge crowd which travelled to the Finals from all the corners of Ireland. County Meath especially have become a role model for other counties in how to build huge attending support for LGFA in both genders and at all ages. Sunday’s massive expression of Meath ‘fandom’ in Croke Park brought their county the greatest credit.

Sunday’s broadcast was the 22nd edition of the TG4 Ladies Gaelic Football Championship, a unique history of a sport minoritized by society being championed by a language media minoritized by the state. By consciously standing together we have grown together. As we approach the 50th anniversary of the LGFA in 2024 let us all hope by that time that we are even further along the road towards true equality of opportunity for both Ladies Gaelic Football and Irish language media.”

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