Kerry victory sets up Killarney final versus Cork
Tipperary 0-5 Kerry 1-23
A depleted Kerry squad made light work of Tipperary on Wednesday night to top Group A and set up a McGrath Cup final against old rivals Cork.
That preseason decider will take place on Saturday, January 22 in Killarney’s Fitzgerald Stadium. Supporters will be hoping that The Rebels can offer some kind of resistance; so far Kerry have faced very little.
The visitors totally dominated Wednesday’s match in Templetuohy, racing into an 8-0 lead in the first quarter. With the team’s best passers – Paudie Clifford, Seán O’Shea and Tom O’Sullivan – pinging long, accurate balls into the full forward line, and that full forward line well on top of their markers, it was easy pickings for Kerry in the opening minutes. Killian Spillane (0-6) and Paul Geaney (0-2) looked particularly sharp on the night, while Darragh Roche (0-1) was involved in a number of scores on his first start for the seniors.
Kerry led by 10 points (12-2) at half-time and in truth the second half was pretty much a non-event. Both sides made a slew of changes, although the lack of numbers available to Jack O’Connor was noticeable. With several players unavailable due to club and colleges commitments, he named just eight subs.
Three of those players – Tony Brosnan, Jack Savage and Paul O’Shea – played earlier that same day in MTU Kerry’s win over UCD. Brosnan and Savage made second-half appearances for Kerry, and the Crokes man popped over two points to add to the 1-4 he registered in Sigerson action.
Paudie Clifford scored the only goal of the game in the final quarter after good interplay between Éanna Ó Conchúir and Geaney.
In the end the 21-point margin of victory didn’t flatter Kerry one bit. It was an easy day for the backs in particular, although Spa’s Dan O’Donoghue still managed to give a good account of himself at corner back.
Killarney man Maye pockets national pool title
Local lad Matthew Maye was the standout Kerry performer at the recent All-Ireland Pool Championships, which were staged at the INEC in Killarney.
Maye navigated a competitive field at the U23 grade to reach the final, but his All-Ireland hopes appeared to be slipping away when he trailed European finalist Aaron Doherty of Cork by two frames to six. The Killarney player battled back impressively, however, and he eventually prevailed 7-6 to clinch the title.
Matthew is still only 21 years of age and last year he won the All-Ireland Junior Championship. Following his latest victory he has now shown himself to be one of the top players in the country for his age.
Another Kerry Pool Association representative, Darragh Breen, had a great run by making it to both the All-Ireland Junior final and the U18 Singles final. With 410 competitors in the junior section, reaching the final was an outstanding achievement. Darragh has put in a huge amount of time and dedication to the game in the last couple of years and he is now reaping the reward of that work.
Over 800 participants from 27 counties took part in this year’s championships. Kerry had 36 players in total – more than they ever had before – with one team in the intermediate section and two teams in the junior section.
Kerry also had two Over 50 teams and an U23 side.
Cup glory on the double for Killarney Celtic
There was cause for celebration on the double for Killarney Celtic last Sunday as both their youths and senior teams captured silverware in Tralee.
The youths enjoyed a comprehensive victory over Killorglin in the Premier A league final with Eoghan Crowley (two), Dara O’Shea, Jason O’Sullivan and Cathal Kelly all finding the target in a 5-1 win at Mounthawk Park.
A little later at the same ground, the club’s senior team had a resounding win against Tralee Dynamos in the final of the League Cup. A 21st-minute rocket from the boot of Wayne Sparling sent Celtic on their way and further strikes by Witness Odirile and Cathal O’Shea (penalty) helped secure a 3-0 win. Veteran captain John McDonagh accepted the trophy on behalf of his teammates.
Celtic can now look forward to their Greyhound Bar KO Cup final on Sunday. They will take on the same team at the same venue at 6pm.
Their attention will then turn to a mouthwatering Premier A league final against crosstown rivals Killarney Athletic. That match has been fixed for Friday, June 2 at 7.30pm.
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