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McCurry too hot for Kerry as Tyrone hang on for rare Killarney win

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Adam Moynihan reports from the Fitzgerald Stadium

National League: Division 1

Kerry 2-11 Tyrone 1-15

HT: Kerry 1-5 Tyrone 0-9

Fitzgerald Stadium

A goal and seven points from the boot of the irrepressible Darren McCurry fired Tyrone to a narrow one-point victory over Kerry in Killarney this afternoon.

McCurry, one of the All-Ireland champions’ All-Stars in 2021, kicked five points in the first period before adding two more points and a sensational goal in the second.

A penalty by Tony Brosnan, his second goal of the game, had given Kerry the lead prior to McCurry’s three-pointer at the three-quarter mark, but they failed to hammer home their advantage. Despite bossing possession in the closing minutes of the game, Jack O’Connor’s men failed to work a suitable scoring opportunity and the Ulster men held on for the win.

In the end, the result counted for little. Kerry already had two feet in the league final and results elsewhere meant that Tyrone would have been safe regardless. Nevertheless, Brian Dooher and Feargal Logan will be pleased to get one over on their fellow All-Ireland contenders. The victory represents Tyrone’s first win in Killarney since 2003.

SUNSHINE

Played beneath glorious sunshine and before a bumper crowd, this match had all the look and feel of summertime championship fare. Unfortunately for Kerry, their performance in the opening stages was far from championship standard.

With Darren McCurry getting plenty of joy down in front of the Lewis Road end of the ground, the Red Hand led 3-2 after 14 minutes. In truth, it could have been more.

Kerry were given a timely boost when captain Joe O’Connor, who was making his first start at senior level, showed off his powerful running style to set up the first goal of the game. The Austin Stacks man took an offload from David Clifford before bursting clear of the Tyrone defence. He then hesitated for a moment before opting to tee up Tony Brosnan, and Kerry’s No. 13 made no mistake from close range.

Points by Darragh Canavan and McCurry drew Tyrone level by the 21st minute and Kerry had a major let-off four minutes later when Conn Kilpatrick and Conor Meyler failed to capitalise on an error by Shane Murphy.

Kieran McGeary, McCurry, and Niall Sludden (two) nudged the visitors in front and as the clock ticked towards 35, Tyrone led by a goal.

Two cracking scores by David Clifford and Tony Bronsan narrowed the gap to give the home supporters some heart heading into the half-time break.

DOMINATED

Tyrone keeper Niall Morgan fired over the first score of the second half from a 45 but Kerry would go on to dominate the third quarter. Stephen O’Brien pointed after being set up by the lively Brosnan, and then Brian Ó Beaglaoich somehow managed to weave his way through the opposition defence to swing over one of the points of the game.

McGeary responded for Tyrone in the 49th minute but moments later an intricate move that was instigated by a superb pass by Paudie Clifford led to a foul on O’Brien in the box. Tony Brosnan stepped forward to take the penalty and he coolly sent Morgan the wrong way to give Kerry a two-point lead.

Remarkably, Kerry’s lead lasted only a matter of seconds. Straight from the restart, Tyrone secured possession and Darragh Canavan picked out McCurry with a wonderful diagonal. The Edendork man spun away from his marker Dylan Casey and rifled a beautiful strike into the top corner of the net, and the visitors were back in front. It was the first goal Kerry conceded from play in 2022.

Two quickfire points by Paul Geaney and David Clifford edged Kerry back out in front in the 57th minute before Kilpatrick equalised with 10 minutes to play.

Another well-worked move that started with David Clifford forcing a turnover and ended with substitute Gavin White fisting over the bar again gave Kerry a one-point lead, but Tyrone reacted well. McCurry was on the money with two consecutive frees and when Peter Harte kicked a fantastic point from distance in the 68th minute, Tyrone led by two.

Geaney halved the deficit with a free two minutes later but Kerry were unable to snatch a draw during seven minutes of stoppage time. David Clifford uncharacteristically turned the ball over and then saw his ambitious effort blocked as Tyrone held on for a rare win on Kerry soil.

Kerry, nevertheless, advance to next weekend’s Division 1 final where they will face second place Mayo, who secured their spot thanks to an eight-point win over Kildare.

That result means that Kildare have been relegated to Division 2, and their neighbours Dublin will be joining them after they fell to a surprising defeat to Monaghan.

KERRY: S Murphy; D Casey, J Foley, T O'Sullivan; G O’Sullivan, T Morley, B Ó Beaglaoich (0-1); D O’Connor, J O’Connor; S O’Brien (0-1), J Savage, M Burns; T Brosnan (2-1, 1p), D Clifford (0-4, 1f), P Geaney (0-3, 2f).

Subs: P Clifford for Savage (HT), A Spillane for Burns (47), J Barry for J O’Connor (47), G White (0-1) for Casey (56), K Spillane for Geaney (70).

TYRONE: N Morgan (0-1, 45); M McKernan, R McNamee, P Hampsey; R Brennan, P Harte (0-1), F Burns; C Kilpatrick (0-1), R Donnelly; C Meyler, N Sludden (0-2), K McGeary (0-2); D McCurry (1-7, 4f 1m), C McShane, D Canavan (0-1).

Subs: L Rafferty for McNamee (temp 17-25), M Donnelly for Meyler (45), L Rafferty for M Donnelly (53), N Donnelly for R Donnelly (57), B McDonnell for McKernan (62), C McKenna for Canavan (69).

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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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