Killarney’s two Men’s National League teams suffered opening round defeats last weekend but both sides can take plenty of positives from their first outings of the 2021/22 season.
The Scotts Lakers had a tricky first day at the office as they travelled to Limerick to take on the Celtics. Thanks in part to the offensive prowess of newcomers Emilian Grudov, Rui Saravia and Ben Miller and the defensive efforts of local lads Mark O’Shea and Paul Clarke, the visitors appeared to be in control of proceedings heading into the fourth quarter. Jarlath Lee’s team led by 86 points to 79 and a valuable road win was on the cards.
Credit to the hosts, however, who put together a remarkable 18-0 run to completely turn the game on its head. With Andre Wolford (who finished with 51 points) to the fore, the Celtics seized control and although the Lakers fought back admirably, they just about came up short. The final score at Munchin’s College was Limerick Celtics 111-104 Scotts Lakers.
Encouragingly, the Lakers’ imports all made an impression on the scoring charts with Grudov (31 points), Miller (30) and Saravia (12) combining for 70% of the team’s points total. Youngster Jamie O’Sullivan also made his mark by chipping in with an impressive tally of 18.
Next up for the Lakers is another away match, this time in Cork against Fr Mathews. Tip-off on Saturday is at 7.30pm.
In cup news, the Lakers have been drawn to play the Portlaoise Panthers at home over the October Bank Holiday weekend (October 23/24). This will be the team’s first home game of the season.
Lakers fans can now buy their season tickets with a ‘single’ costing €50. A ‘patron’ option (two adults) is available for €100, which includes a mention in the gameday programmes. The ‘family’ season ticket (two adults and two under 16s) is €120. This entitles fans to entry to every home league and cup game. Visit the St Paul’s Killarney Facebook page for details on how you can get your hands on these tickets through Eventbrite. Alternatively, you can contact any club officer.
In what was their first ever game in the National League, newcomers Killarney Cougars came up against a strong UCC Demons outfit in the Pres Gym. The Cougars started well and threes by Conor Flynn and Con O’Mahony contributed to an early 14-11 lead. The Demons have been tipped as title contenders, however, and they showed their considerable class thereafter, with Tala Fam Thiam in particular standing out.
The away team led by 45-30 at the half but a strong third quarter which included threes by Flynn, Justin Tuason and Mark O’Shea helped cut the deficit to just five.
But Demons regrouped and reassumed control thereafter, eventually running out 87-59 winners.
Next weekend the Cougars travel to Limerick to tackle the UL Eagles with a home game against the Portlaoise Panthers on October 23.
Team Garvey’s St Mary’s (Castleisland) were no match for hosts Glanmire when the sides met in the first round of the Women’s Super League on Friday last. It was always expected to be a tough challenge for the visitors considering Glanmire’s many years of experience at this level and the Cork women had a huge first quarter, hitting 28 points to Team Garvey’s 13.
Team Garvey’s Le’Jzea Davidson sustained an ankle injury in the early part of the game but to her credit managed to keep going. However, she went over on the same ankle in the dying stages. Glanmire continued to excel as the game progressed leaving the final score at 112-41 in favour of the Cork team. Killarney native Rheanne O’Shea chipped in with six points for St Mary’s.
The Kerry team’s next game is on Saturday against Fr Mathews. Tip-off in Castleisland Community Centre is at 6.30pm.
“Argentina have Messi but we have the Messiah”
By Michelle Crean Calls for full civic reception for David Clifford Superstar footballer David Clifford has been compared to Argentina’s Messi. At Monday’s full Kerry County Council meeting councillors were full of […]
By Michelle Crean
Calls for full civic reception for David Clifford
Superstar footballer David Clifford has been compared to Argentina’s Messi.
At Monday’s full Kerry County Council meeting councillors were full of praise for both the Fossa and Rathmore teams who won their respective finals a day earlier in Croke Park. Fossa became the All-Ireland Junior Football Champions when they beat Stewartstown Harps, while Rathmore secured the AIB All-Ireland Intermediate Club Football title.
Cllr Mike Kennelly said “we are currently witnessing the greatest footballer ever” as he called for a full civic reception to honour David Clifford.
“I think he’s the greatest inspiration to every Kerry person. We, as an authority, as a county need to acknowledge this. We need to acknowledge David’s greatness and inspiration on his unrivalled success over the last 12 months. Argentina has Messi but we have the Messiah and we’ve got to protect him and honour that. Most people will agree with us that he is the greatest we have ever seen.”
However, cautiously Cllr Cahill added that it’s better to hold a civic reception for both teams rather than single out one player.
“I’m not too sure about singling out David. Maybe talk to the family on that. Paudie got an All Star this year and last year and was Man of the Match at several games. I’m not saying we shouldn’t do it but tease it out a little bit further.”
The matter was referred to the CPG.
Exclusive: Paudie Clifford reflects on “emotional” All-Ireland Junior Club final
by Adam Moynihan
Speaking to the Killarney Advertiser this evening (Wednesday), Fossa captain Paudie Clifford reflected on an emotional All-Ireland Junior Club final against Stewartstown of Tyrone.
Fossa emerged victorious on a scoreline of 0-19 to 1-13 but much of the talk in the aftermath has been focused on ill-discipline. Clifford was one of six players to be sent off in the second half, although he himself was the victim of arguably the worst offence: a vicious elbow to the face in the first minute of stoppage time.
Thankfully, the Kerry star was not badly injured in the incident.
“I’m good,” Clifford confirms. “I’ve a cut on the lip. Probably lucky, really. But no, I’m okay.
“David touched on it (in his post-match interview on TG4), there was a lot of emotion at the end of the game. There was a lot at stake.
“These things happen.”
The elder Clifford is still disappointed about his own red card, however. Not over the fact that he was sent off per se, but for the explanation given by referee Thomas Murphy.
“The referee said it was an eye gouge and sure it clearly wasn’t an eye gouge. That’s why I was so annoyed. That’s why I said it in the speech. I was seriously annoyed that he said it was an eye gouge.”
Although the video footage indicates that Clifford has right on his side, he does clearly put his hand in his opponent’s face. If the referee had said that the red was for a hand to the face, would he have accepted that?
“I wouldn’t have had any arguments with that really. It was the fact that he said it was an eye gouge that I wasn’t happy with.”
As for the aforementioned acceptance speech, an unorthodox address in which he said “well done” to the match officials before claiming that he shouldn’t have been red carded, Clifford simply puts it down to the immense “emotion” he was feeling at the time.
Sunday’s victory marked a glorious end to what was a memorable season for Fossa. The relatively small club on the outskirts of Killarney sampled unprecedented success, something Clifford attributes to his hardworking teammates.
“Winning an All-Ireland seems so far away at the start of the year. You have to get out of your group and try to win Kerry, and even then you still have a long way to go.
“After all the hard work that the team has put in, it was unreal to get the reward at the end.
“We’ve had a lot of bad days in the last few years when we haven’t performed on the big occasion. There’s no other way of putting it. But in fairness to the lads, they didn’t put a foot wrong all year. They won Division 4 of the County League and the O’Sullivan Cup (East Kerry Junior Championship) when me and David weren’t there.
“On Sunday Matt Rennie caught massive balls when we needed him to. Dan Connell has been unreal all year since he came back from San Fran and he played very well. David got the big points. The fellas who came off the bench, like Rian Colleran, made a big difference.
“To be fair, there weren’t many fellas that didn’t play well for us. It was a fairly solid performance against a tough team. I thought [Stewartstown] were very good. Very powerful runners and a very good inside forward line.”
Younger brother David was typically sensational, kicking 0-11 (eight from play) en route to yet another Man of the Match award. The Footballer of the Year turns 24 on Sunday. Is there room for even more improvement in his game as he enters his mid-twenties?
“I suppose he’s going to try and go out and improve every day,” Paudie says. “I’m sure he’s striving towards that, but it remains to be seen. I wouldn’t put it past him.”
The elder Clifford (26) also reserves special praise for Fossa’s management team, in particular bainisteoir Adrian Sheehan and coach Eamonn Fitzmaurice.
“Adrian is a very good man-manager. Everyone gets on with him. But he’s very tactical too and another thing about him is that he’s always willing to learn. He’s very modest and he’s always willing to listen to the players and take their opinions on board.
“I really hope that he gets a chance at intercounty level once he’s finished with us, be it minor or U21. But obviously we don’t want him to be finished with us for a long time.
“Eamonn then is an absolute genius really. It’s like he makes things very simple but he also gets a lot across, if you get me?
“He’s very calm. At half-time, if things aren’t going well, he’s really able to calm things and get us ready. He’s able to spot things in a match as well. He has all the attributes you could want in a coach.”
The 2023 National League gets underway next weekend (January 28/29) with Kerry facing a tough away trip to Donegal on the Sunday. After an extremely long season with county and then club, it would be understandable if the Clifford brothers were granted an extended rest period before linking back up with their Kerry teammates in Currans.
But, in his distinctive, matter-of-fact tone, Paudie says that he and David won’t be taking too much time off.
“I’ve been talking to Jack. [The break will be] a few weeks. Nothing major.
“We’ll be ready to go again in a few weeks.”
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