By Con Dennehy
Handball is set to be off the wall in Killarney this weekend when some of the leading up and coming stars of Irish handball fight it out for top honours at the Spa 1 Wall Slam competition.
Hosted by the progressive Spa Killarney Handball Club, this national tournament takes place at the magnificent Spa GAA facility. The action will get underway today (Saturday) at 11.30am.
“We are delighted with the response and will have 40 players in various grades competing in 50 games during the day,” said Eoin O’Donoghue, Tournament Director and PRO of the Spa Killarney Handball Club. “There will be plate and cup competitions for five grades including Men’s B, Men’s C, Ladies’ B, Ladies’ C and Masters 45-plus.”
The tournament has attracted players from Kerry, Cork, Limerick, Waterford, Mayo, Roscommon, Galway and Dublin. Killarney players are expected to feature prominently on the winner’s podium with Brendan O’Donoghue tipped for honours in the Masters category. In the 2019 Munster Master A competition, O’Donoghue became the first Spa/Killarney man to win a Munster championship silver medal and an All-Ireland handball silver in the highly ranked Master's 55 B final.
In the Ladies B competition, Aoife Walsh (Spa Killarney), a winner at the ‘She’s Ace’ Tournament in Northern Ireland earlier this year, is also tipped for success along with her club colleagues Sinead Moriarty and Niamh Faulds in the Ladies C tournament.
Other Killarney competitors expect to challenge for top honours include Sarah Dineen, Neill Horgan, David Gillespie, Kieran O’Brien, Sheila Kelliher, Bríd Horgan and Laura Sweeney.
Paudie Clifford returns and scores wondergoal as Kerry dismantle Monaghan
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.
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.
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.
St Paul’s ladies’ contribution to club honoured
By Sean Moriarty St Paul’s Basketball club recognised the contribution of its ladies’ players during their National Basketball League home game on Saturday night. Since the start of the season, […]
By Sean Moriarty
St Paul’s Basketball club recognised the contribution of its ladies’ players during their National Basketball League home game on Saturday night.
Since the start of the season, coach James Fleming has named his Most Valuable Player (MVP) after each home game.
The club presented each MVP award winner with a special trophy at halftime during the club’s tie with Dublin side Swords Thunder at Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre on Saturday.
Lynn Jones, who is one of the sport’s longest servants in Kerry, picked up her award from the Limerick Celtics game earlier in the season.
Rheanne O’Shea won the MPV during the Portlaoise Panthers match.
Yuleska Ramirez Tedja was the MPV against UL Sport Huskies last year.
Deise Dunlea was the most recent nomination for an MPV award and she also received her award on Saturday night.
The team also honoured their Irish International player Leah McMahon and presented Leah’s mother Anne with flowers as a thank-you for her support to the club.
“The dedication of these ladies is unbelievable, we have eight games in a row coming up, five at home and one each in Belfast, Cavan and Dublin and they are all working or studying,” manager Siobhan Bennett told the Killarney Advertiser.
“Coach James Fleming wanted to show his appreciation for this dedication.”
Housing Will Never Be The Same
Last week I wrote about the pathetic investment options out there for Irish investors. Despite high ongoing fees (mortgage, maintenance,...
Biddies performance celebrates St Brigid
Two local Biddies groups performed at Muckross House as part of St Brigid’s Day celebrations in aid of Kerry Parents and Friends...
Arrest made in Miriam Burns murder case
By Sean Moriarty Gardai have arrested a man in his 50s in connection with the death of Miriam Burns. Ms...
Great turnout at Kerry Clubs Fair
Over 600 people attended the Kerry Clubs Fair at Killarney Racecourse on Sunday to see exhibitions by a wide variety...
Why it’s important to have travel insurance
By John Healy of Healy Insurances Spring is a wonderful time to dream of holidays and trips that could happen...