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Killarney RFC coast to U16 Munster final

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Munster U16 League Semi-Final

Killarney 26 Bruff 0

Aghadoe

The Killarney RFC U16 girls are on the cusp of provincial glory following a one-sided victory over Bruff in the semi-final of the Munster League.

The Killarney girls were superb on the day despite the wintry January conditions. After taking a 7-0 lead in the first half, they powered on in the second to register a comfortable 26-point win.

They now await the winners of the other semi between Ennis and Ballincollig, which is due to take place this weekend.

ENTERTAINING

Played in front of a large crowd in Aghadoe on a very wet afternoon, the girls from Killarney and Bruff played out an entertaining game of rugby.

Killarney attacked right from the start but the Bruff defensive line was very much up to the challenge; on a couple of occasions they made some great try-saving tackles.

In fairness to the hosts, they kept playing good passing rugby and Bronagh Dorrian eventually forced her way over the line to give them the lead. Dorrian duly converted her own try to make it 7-0 at the interval.

Killarney started off the second half right where they left off. Marina Eager, Niamh Dorrian and Ali O’Donoghue made some weaving runs but again the Bruff tackling was of the highest standard.

Eventually Bronagh Dorrian got over the line for her second try following some good play by centre Holly O’Sullivan. Killarney now had a lead of 12 points. Then some excellent interplay by the outstanding Killarney back row set up Clodagh Foley for the try of the day.

With 15 minutes remaining on the clock, the Killarney No. 8 Ava O’Malley picked from the base of the scrum and touched down for the home team’s fourth try. Captain Fia Whelan converted to bring her side’s tally to 26 and round off the day’s scoring.

The Killarney replacements added a lot to the team’s performance and Gráinne Kennedy, who had been introduced just after half-time, made a great break but was just denied by another excellent Bruff tackle.

PERFORMANCE

Speaking to the Killarney Advertiser, coach Diarmuid O’Malley said he was “delighted” with his team’s performance.

“Weather-wise it wasn’t really what we would have liked – we like to play a running style of rugby, so the wet conditions wouldn’t have suited. That made the result even more pleasing, against a very abrasive Bruff team who were very resolute.

“Reaching the final is huge for Killarney RFC. Kerry teams normally play second or third fiddle to clubs from the strongholds in Cork and Limerick, and they normally operate in the second or third tier of competitions. These girls are playing in the highest tier in the province, so that is hugely satisfying. A lot of the players are relatively new to the game and they’re really enjoying it.

“We had a huge crowd at the semi-final and they gave the girls great support.”

O’Malley is hoping for another strong Killarney turnout for the final, which is likely to take place the weekend of January 22/23.

KILLARNEY: 1. Annie O’Reilly, 2. Ella Guerin Crowley, 3. Molly Gabbett, 4. Joanne O’Keefe, 5. Jess O’Sullivan, 6. Melissa McCarthy, 7. Clodagh Foley, 8. Ava O’Malley, 9. Robyn Landers, 10. Fia Whelan (captain), 11. Ali O’Donoghue, 12. Bronagh Dorrian, 13. Holly O’Sullivan, 14. Niamh Dorrian, 15. Marina Eager. Subs: Miriam O’Sullivan, Isabella O’Leary, Gráinne Kennedy, Lucy O’Sullivan, Nell Moore, Kate Mangan, Coaches: Diarmuid O’Malley, Josh Whelan. Manager: Anne Gabbett.

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Paudie Clifford returns and scores wondergoal as Kerry dismantle Monaghan

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Adam Moynihan reports from the Fitzgerald Stadium

National League Division 1

Kerry 3-16 Monaghan 0-14

HT: Kerry 0-10 Monaghan 0-6

A spectacular second-half goal by surprise inclusion Paudie Clifford helped Kerry to an impressive 11-point over Monaghan in Killarney this afternoon.

The All-Star forward wasn’t named on the initial panel of 27 but when his name was called out as No. 26 before the game, a loud cheer rang out around the O’Sullivan Stand. Kerry fans had to wait until the 46th minute to see the Fossa captain make his first appearance of the season but it didn’t take him long to make his mark.

After soloing all of 80 metres, the elder Clifford dispatched a perfect finish beyond the reach of Rory Beggan to send Kerry nine points clear with 51 minutes on the clock.

In truth the game was drifting away from Monaghan before Clifford’s cameo but his sensational contribution made absolutely certain.

With two points on the board and David Clifford and Seánie O’Shea waiting in the wings ahead of Mayo away in two weeks’ time, Kerry manager Jack O’Connor will be a happy man leaving Killarney this evening.

GIFTED

Monaghan stayed in touch with Kerry for the first quarter, thanks in the main to a string of needless fouls that gifted the away team some easy scores.

Conor McCarthy broke the deadlock with one such free in the 6th minute and Tony Brosnan got Kerry off the mark two minutes later with a placed ball of his own.

The reliable Dessie Ward and Kerry’s bustling full forward Darragh Roche exchanged scores before Micheál Bannigan tapped over a free to re-establish the Farney’s early lead.

Kerry then went on a mini-run, instigated by a neat team move that saw Tony Brosnan and Micheál Burns combine to tee up the excellent Tom O’Sullivan for a close-in score.

Good work by Barry Dan O’Sullivan from a hop ball led to another Brosnan free, and then a high, skyscraper of a point from the stand side into the scoreboard end by Donal Down O’Sullivan gave the hosts a two-point lead.

However, two more avoidable fouls handed Monaghan’s free-takers McCarthy and Bannigan a point apiece and midway through the first half, the scores were level at 0-5 each.

The Kingdom finally began to inject some pace into proceedings in the second quarter with Dara Moynihan and Micheál Burns especially active. The All-Ireland champions scored five of the next six points with Roche, Brosnan (free), Moynihan, Donal Down O’Sullivan and Burns all hitting the target.

A tasty individual effort by Monaghan’s best forward, Conor McCarthy, left the scores at 0-10 to 0-6 at the break.

UNDONE

Monaghan’s good work in the first half was rather quickly undone in the second as Kerry exerted their dominance in all sectors. By the time Darragh Roche evaded Beggan and goaled in the 39th minute, the home side led by eight (1-12 to 0-7) and the result already appeared to be beyond question.

In fairness to Vinney Corey’s charges, they rattled off three unanswered points over the next 10 minutes – and they would have scored a goal but for a great save by Shane Murphy – but then Clifford’s introduction set the tone for the remainder.

Adrian Spillane’s goalbound effort was tipped over in the 49th minute (Spillane was the last of Kerry’s six forwards to score) and then Clifford gathered the ball inside his own 65, sprinted straight for goal, and finished emphatically to make it 2-13 to 0-10.

Things got worse for Monaghan four minutes later when Ryan O’Toole saw red for a high tackle on Stefan Okunbor. In the next attack, Tom O’Sullivan sauntered forward to drive a trademark outside-of-the-boot shot between the uprights and Kerry led by double scores (2-14 to 0-10).

Stephen O’Hanlon was one of Monaghan’s shining lights and he scored two of his three points in the final quarter, but they counted for little when all was said and done.

TG4’s Man of the Match Donal Down O’Sullivan capped a fine full debut with a nice goal in stoppage time as Kerry picked up their first league win of the season.

KERRY: S Murphy; G O’Sullivan, J Foley, T O’Sullivan (0-2); P Warren, T Morley, P Murphy; J Barry, BD O’Sullivan; M Burns (0-1), D Moynihan (0-1), A Spillane (0-1); T Brosnan (0-4f), D Roche (1-2), D O’Sullivan (1-3).

Subs: P Clifford (1-1) for Moynihan; S Okunbor for BD O’Sullivan; K Spillane (0-1m) for Roche, G Horan for Warren; R Murphy for A Spillane.

MONAGHAN: R Beggan; T McPhillips, K Duffy (0-1), R Wylie; C Boyle, D Ward (0-1), K Loughran; K  Lavelle, C Lennon; S O’Hanlon (0-3), M Bannigan (0-3, 2f), J Wilson; C McCarthy (0-5, 4f), K Gallagher (0-1), S Carey.

Subs: D Treanor for Lennon; G Mohan for Wilson; T McPhillips for Lavelle; S Jones for Carey; S Slevin for Wylie.

Attendance: 10,232

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Handball continues to shine in Killarney

By Con Dennehy Handball in the Killarney region can look back at 2022 as a year of continued progress, the promotion of handball in East Kerry and the introduction of […]

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By Con Dennehy

Handball in the Killarney region can look back at 2022 as a year of continued progress, the promotion of handball in East Kerry and the introduction of the sport to a new generation.

It has been a phenomenal and successful year for the Spa Killarney Club. At the Annual General Meeting of the club this week, one of the highlights of the year singled out for mention was the hosting and promotion of a One Wall National Tournament which attracted players from all over Ireland to the Killarney venue in March.

There was joy for the home club at the tournament when Currow native and Spa Killarney Club member Aoife Walsh had an impressive victory in the highly competitive Ladies B championship.

There was also an international dimension for the club in 2022 when four players took part in the European One Wall Tournament in London. At this event Eoin O’Donoghue won gold in the Open Doubles B championship where he partnered with John Joe Quirke from Glenbeigh and Brendan O’Donoghue won a silver medal in the Over 40 Doubles final.

“As a new club we were delighted with the success we achieved in 2022. In January Aoife Walsh and Sinead Moriarty took home silverware in the highly competitive She’s Ace competition in Tyrone. This really was our springboard for success during the year and resulted in some of our players competing in the One Wall national finals in Roscommon in July. We are looking forward to an exciting 2023 and hopefully welcoming new members to the club,” said Eoin O’Donoghue, PRO of Spa Killarney Handball Club.

The club rounded off a memorable year in October when they hosted the Munster One Wall championships and the Kerry Handball Board AGM in November where club members Kieran O’Brien was elected president of Kerry Handball and Brendan O’Donoghue was appointed delegate to the Kerry GAA Board.

Officers Elected for 2023/2024: Brendan O’Donoghue (Chairman), Sinead Moriarty (Vice Chairperson), David Gillespie (Secretary), Eoin O’Donoghue (PRO) and James O’Brien (Treasurer).

Open Night

Spa Killarney Handball Club will host an Open Night at the Spa GAA Club on Monday night (February 6). This will be an opportunity for attendees to savour the thrill of handball, have a taster game and meet the club players. It commences at 7pm and all over 18s are welcome.

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