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Munster double for Killarney RFC

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U16 Munster Cup Final

Killarney RFC 31 Shannon 15

Musgrave Park

A late push saw the Killarney U16s capture their second Munster title of the season at a resplendent Musgrave Park on Sunday last. They were pushed all the way by a gallant Shannon side but the Kerry girls showed massive resolve and determination to secure another prestigious trophy.

Killarney started off very strongly and raced into a commanding 14-0 lead after just 11 minutes. A superb try by team captain Fia Whelan, which she duly converted herself, sent the Munster League champs on their way and then, moments later, a penalty try was awarded to Killarney.

Katie O’Donoghue was next to score for Killarney after some great interplay by Bronagh Dorian and Ali O’Donoghue. Shannon responded with a try just before half-time, but the Killarney girls still led by 16 points (21-5) at the break.

Whatever the Shannon mentors said at half-time clearly worked as they scored the next two tries to make it a one-score game midway through the second half.

The Shannon brace seemed to be the catalyst for Killarney. No. 8 Ava O’Malley gathered the ball at the halfway line and made a fabulous weaving run to score a phenomenal try in the corner.

Replacement Holly O’Sullivan was obviously hungry to get into the action very quickly after coming on and she scored a superb try to close out the game in the dying minutes.

“The girls have worked extremely hard all season and have improved week on week,” coach Josh Whelan said. “They are a superb bunch of young girls and an absolute joy to coach.

“Obviously the girls played their part on the field but the glue to keeping the whole thing together all season is our amazing manager, Anne Gabbet, who deserves special mention. Without Anne days like this wouldn’t happen.”

KILLARNEY: Annie O’Reilly, Ella Guerin Crowley, Molly Gabbett, Joanne O’Keefe, Melissa McCarthy, Grainne Kennedy, Clodagh Foley, Ava O’Malley, Robyn Landers, Fia Whelan (captain), Katie O’Donoghue, Bronagh Dorrian, Ali O’Donoghue, Niamh Dorrian, Marina Eager, Holly O’Sullivan, Jess O’Sullivan, Miriam O’Sullivan, Isabella O’Leary, Grainne Kennedy, Lucy O’Sullivan, Nell Moore. Coaches: Diarmuid O’Malley, Josh Whelan. Manager: Anne Gabbett.

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Survey reveals Kerry fans’ expectations for 2023

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A start-of-season survey carried out by the Killarney Advertiser has revealed Kerry supporters’ expectations ahead of the 2023 campaign, which gets underway on Sunday with a league match against Donegal.

Kerry enjoyed a perfect year in 2022 as Jack O’Connor led his team to glory in the National League, Munster Championship and All-Ireland Championship. It would be an incredible achievement to replicate that success again this time around, but some supporters seem to think that it can be done.

Around 73% of those polled believe that Kerry will reach another All-Ireland final, with the majority (42%) predicting that Sam Maguire will be staying in the Kingdom for another year at least. Just under a quarter of respondents (23%) think that Kerry will fall at the semi-final stage, however, with the remainder (4%) anticipating a quarter-final or round robin exit.

1. How far will Kerry go in the championship?

All-Ireland round robin – 1%

All-Ireland quarter-final – 3%

All-Ireland semi-final – 23%

All-Ireland final (runners-up) – 31%

All-Ireland final (winners) – 42%

That’s what supporters expect to happen, but what would they be happy with? When asked what would constitute a “good year” for Kerry in 2023, 54% stated that only an All-Ireland will do. A further 32% said they would be content with another All-Ireland final appearance. So, effectively, the vast majority of Kerry supporters (86%) won’t be happy unless their team at least makes it to the All-Ireland final on July 30.

2. Kerry need to ___________ for 2023 to be classed as a “good” year.

Reach the All-Ireland round robin stage – 1%

Reach the All-Ireland quarter-final – 3%

Reach the All-Ireland semi-final – 10%

Reach the All-Ireland final – 32%

Win the All-Ireland final – 54%

Neighbours Cork gave Kerry a real hiding in the McGrath Cup at the beginning of this month but it appears as though fans from this side of the county bounds are placing little stock in that particular result. Over 96% of supporters expect Kerry to win their provincial championship. A very small minority (3%) are fearing the worst, i.e. Cork winning Munster.

3. Who will win the Munster Championship?

Kerry – 96%

Cork – 3%

Someone else – 1%

Expectations are lower for the immediate future, however. With several players out injured and others – including star player David Clifford – being rested, most fans reckon Kerry will finish mid-table in Division 1 of the National League. Over half of the readers who responded to our survey (52%) think Kerry will finish 3rd or 4th in the eight-team pool, with roughly one-in-five expecting a 5th or 6th place finish.

Despite the lengthy list of absentees, 21% of supporters are still optimistic that Kerry can retain their Division 1 title. At the other end of the scale, around 1% think Kerry will be relegated.

4. Where will Kerry finish in Division 1 of the National League?

1st or 2nd (winners) – 21%

1st or 2nd (runners-up) – 8%

3rd or 4th – 52%

5th or 6th – 18%

7th or 8th (relegated) – 1%

When asked which opponent they are most wary of heading into the new season, the vast majority of Kerry fans singled out the same Division 2 team.

5. Which opposition team should Kerry be most worried about in 2023?

Dublin – 78%

Tyrone – 7%

Armagh – 6%

Cork – 3%

Derry – 3%

Mayo – 2%

Galway – 1%

Jack O’Connor’s side travel to Ballybofey on Sunday for their first competitive outing of the season. Throw-in is at 2pm with the match being televised live on TG4.

Follow @AdamMoynihan for all the latest Kerry GAA news

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“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 […]

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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.

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