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Killarney RFC girls enjoy trip to Limerick

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On Saturday last the U18 girls teams from Killarney RFC, Tuam/Oughterard and Port Dara (an amalgamation of Cill Dara and Portarlington) took part in a 15-a-side tournament hosted by Old Crescent RFC at Takumi Park, Limerick.

Facilities and pitches at Old Crescent were excellent, but weather conditions in the morning were challenging for rugby with a lot of rain and a strong breeze. Despite this, the three teams served up a very close and entertaining series of games with great skill and endeavour on display.

The format was three round robin games of 35 minutes and first up was Killarney v Tuam/Oughterard. The two sides were evenly matched in a physical contest that looked like it might finish scoreless until Tuam’s Keannagh Irons capitalised on a rare Killarney handling error inside their 22 to cross for a try and give her side the win (0–5).

Next, Killarney faced Port Dara in a game that was a real display of hard-running, offloading rugby. Port Dara took the lead with an unconverted Ellie White try but Killarney levelled with Niamh Dorrian finishing a good team move. Fia Whelan slotted the conversion to secure a 7–5 win for the Kerry side.  

The final match saw Port Dara take on Tuam/Oughterard in another close, end-to-end contest with scoring opportunities created by both sides. The Connacht outfit proved more clinical in converting their chances and tries from Irons and Ailbhe Gannon plus a conversion from Chloe Conneely gave them a 12-0 victory.

After the tournament all three squads enjoyed a trip to Thomond Park for the Munster v Barbarians double-header and they were treated to really exciting try fests in both games.

Speaking after the games, Killarney coach Josh Whelan said the event was a “great opportunity” for his squad to get a run out against quality opposition from Leinster and Connacht.

“The girls really enjoyed it and we’re sure it will serve as great preparation for our regular season games starting in October. It was great to connect with players and coaches from outside Munster, and from what I saw this morning I’d say the future of female rugby in Ireland should be in a good place. The standard of rugby played by all three teams in difficult conditions was really high.”

Killarney RFC extends their gratitude to Owen Lydon and Marie Hayes for refereeing and to Old Crescent RFC for hosting.

KILLARNEY: Marina Eagar, Isabella O’Leary, Holly O’Sullivan, Niamh Dorrian, Mary Ellen McDonnell, Fia Whelan (Co-Captain), Bronagh Dorrian, Annie O’Reilly, Ella Guerin-Crowley, Emer O’Keefe, Jasmine Dwyer, Jess O’Sullivan, Joanne O’Keefe, Melissa McCarthy, Lily Morris (Co-Captain). Team Manager: Elaine Clifford. Coaches: Diarmuid O’Malley, Josh Whelan.

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Killarney set for festival of football at Spa GAA’s Club 7s

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The third annual Killarney Club 7s tournament will be staged next weekend (June 1-2) at Spa GAA grounds with 36 clubs and over 500 players due to take part.

The hugely successful event has already become a popular fixture of the local sporting calendar with large crowds flocking to Tullig for two days of football and entertainment.

With Heineken as title sponsors and support also coming from the likes of Kellihers Toyota, Killarney Credit Union, Sheahan’s, GMIB.ie, Daly’s SuperValu and O’Callaghan Coaches, attendees will be treated to top quality food and drink on site, as well as a wide array of live music. Acclaimed group Chasing Abbey are the headline act on Saturday with Super Céilí rounding things off on Sunday night.

On the pitch, men’s and women’s teams from all over the country will compete for €10,000 in prize money.

Matches will be played across three excellent pitches, all of which can be easily viewed from all areas of the grounds.

The group stages will be played on Saturday with the knockout rounds scheduled for Sunday. Participating teams include Confey from Kildare, St Finbarr’s from Cork, Castleknock from Dublin and, all the way from Germany, Berlin GAA.

The hosts Spa won the 2023 men’s final in dramatic fashion when a last-gasp goal saw them beat Cuala in front of a boisterous crowd.

Free shuttle buses will be running to Killarney when the festivities wind down at 10pm each night.

For more information, visit killarneyclub7s.ie.

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Fierce rivals Celtic and Athletic set for tense Kerry District League final

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Killarney Celtic’s dominance of the local junior soccer scene appears to show no signs of letting up after the Derreen-based club added more silverware to their cabinet last Sunday – but their fiercest rivals are hoping to rip up the script in this weekend’s league final.

Last week the Hoops defeated Tralee Dynamos in the final of the Greyhound Bar KO Cup to make it six-in-a-row in the county’s most prestigious knockout competition.

Lee Downing was the hero on the day as he scored twice in the first half to put his side in the ascendency. In the end, that was enough to get the job done as the Killarney lads held on for a 2-0 win.

The Celts have the opportunity to complete another league and cup double this weekend, although they will be pushed all the way by a talented young Killarney Athletic outfit in the Premier A final.

The match will take place on Sunday at 4pm in Mounthawk Park in Tralee and Brendan Moloney’s Blues will be eager to bring their neighbours’ remarkable run to an abrupt end.

Athletic will unfortunately be without stalwart Shane Doolan who recently suffered an ACL injury.

Supporters of both clubs are urged to make the journey to Tralee and get behind their teams for one last time this season.

The Killarney Athletic B team play Iveragh United in the Tommy Healy Cup final replay at the same venue at 1pm.

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