Killarney Cycling Club will host the county’s biggest one day cycling event next Thursday evening.
The Kerry Road Race Championships will take place on a new 15km course near Beaufort on August 22.
The honour of hosting the annual Kerry Road Race Championships is divided amongst the biggest clubs in the county. Tralee Manor West Cycling Club, Currow Cycling Club and Killorglin Cycling Club all take turns at organising the event on a four-year rotation system and this year the opportunity to stage the race falls to the local Killarney club.
One of the favourites for the County Championship is local rider Conor Kissane. The Barleymount-based rider, the current county hillclimb champion, narrowly missed out on the county road racing league title last week.
The final round of the series took place in Tralee on Thursday, August 8. Kissane needed to finish in front his main rival, Tralee Manor West’s Cathal Moynihan, but tactical riding by the Tralee club kept Kissane out of the top six and handed the league to Moynihan.
County league races are run on a handicap system where the elite A1 and A2 category riders start three minutes behind A3 riders and six minutes behind the A4 competitors.
Killarney Cycling Club’s Marcus Treacy (A3) won the Tralee event. Crucially, two other Tralee Manor West riders, Ross Culloty and Owen Moriarty, both A3 riders, took second and third overall meaning Moynihan and Treacy finished on equal points but the championship was decided in the Tralee man’s favour as he had two wins over the season compared to Treacy’s solitary victory.
Kissane finished in the A1 bunch and ended up third in the standings.
“There were five riders in our group,” Kissane told the Killarney Advertiser. “Two from the Tralee club, including Cathal, and three from the Killarney club. There was no way the Tralee riders were going to share the workload to close the gap. There’s nothing sour in these tactics, it’s just the way cycling works. They knew I had to win the race to take the championship.”
Kissane will be hoping to make amends in the County Championships in less than a week’s time. It will be his first time competing as an A1 rider at the same time his home club is the host.
The championship race also runs on a handicap system but each group is only separated by 30 seconds for this event.
“They [organisers] look at the league events as a training race for us and always make us work that little bit harder,” Kissane added. “The Killarney club will working together [in the County Championships] and I would hope there will be a Killarney winner at the end of the day.”
Riders that could scupper Kissane and his Killarney Cycling Club colleagues include Moynihan and his Tralee Manor West clubmate Cormac Daly.
Killorglin’s Mike O’Shea, a winner of a round of the cycling league this season, is another dark horse. He is capable of breaking away from the main bunch and launching a solo bid for success.
Crokes hurlers set for senior championship bow
Sunday will be a momentous day for Dr Crokes GAA as the club’s hurlers are set to participate in the Kerry Senior Hurling Championship for the first time.
The Crokes famously won the Intermediate in 2020 and after exercising their right to graduate to the top level, they now face into the daunting task of negotiating the rough and tumble of the top tier.
The Killarney club will take on four-time champions Abbeydorney in their first Group 1 pool game, with throw-in at Austin Stack Park at 1.30pm. O’Dorney are sure to provide a stern test; they reached the last four of last year’s competition before exiting at the hands of eventual winners Kilmoyley.
Two teams from each of the three groups of three will progress to the knockout phase.
Crokes will be hoping that the likes of Kerry senior Michael Lenihan and his brother Jack can lead the way on Sunday, while Kerry U20 footballer and accomplished soccer player Tom Doyle is also considered to be a real talent.
Elsewhere in the Kerry SHC, champions Kilmoyley will get the defence of their title up and running against Ballyheigue tonight at 7.30pm, and last year’s beaten finalists Causeway will do battle with St Brendan’s on Saturday at 7pm.
Neighbours Spa and Crokes vying for Division 1 final
Killarney rivals Spa and Dr Crokes will face off in Round 5 of the Kerry Senior Football League on Saturday with the winners advancing to the Division 1 league final. The match will take place in Lewis Road at 5pm.
Crokes currently lead the way in Division 1A with seven points from four matches, with Spa one point behind having won two, drawn one and lost one of their four fixtures to date. The new competition structure, which was devised to reduce the amount of games and travel required for all teams involved, sees the top team from each pool (1A and 1B) meet in the decider.
In the other pot, Kerin’s O’Rahilly’s are favourites to finish first as they currently sit on top of the pile with seven points. The Killarney Legion are still in contention – they find themselves just one point behind in second – but Rahilly’s will fancy themselves to win their final group phase match against bottom-of-the-table Beaufort. Legion travel back west to play An Ghaeltacht in Gallarus.
Beaufort have already been relegated to Division 2 for 2022 on the back of four consecutive defeats and they will be joined in D2 by the bottom-placed team in Division 1A. Kilcummin currently occupy that position but they can claw their way out of danger with a final day victory over Austin Stacks.
The second-from-bottom team in each pool will also meet in a playoff to decide the third and final team to be relegated to Division 2. These places will go down to the wire with John Mitchels and Stacks in the firing line in 1A and Rathmore, Kenmare Shamrocks and An Ghaeltacht all potential candidates in 1B.
In the second division, Castleisland Desmonds can secure their promotion back to the top table by defeating Na Gaeil in their final fixture, thereby securing top spot in Division 2A. It’s all to play for in 2B as Templenoe, Gneeveguilla and Ballymacelligott are joint top on six points apiece.
The runners-up in both pools will also play each other to decide the third team to be promoted with Glenbeigh-Glencar and St Mary’s in contention in 2A. They will duke it out for that final spot when they meet in Glenbeigh on Saturday; in fact, the winners will secure automatic promotion if Desmonds lose to Na Gaeil in Tralee.
The Dr Crokes B team are currently facing the chop as they sit bottom of 2A on zero points, but they can avoid automatic relegation by beating the team directly above them (Ballydonoghue) away from home on Sunday. Listry can do likewise in 2B if they can get the better of Dromid Pearses in Listry. If Crokes and Listry do the needful, they will meet in a relegation playoff to see who will retain their Division 2 status.
Churchill and Listowel lead the way in Division 3A with Laune Rangers, Milltown/Castlemaine and Brosna in the running in 3B. Glenflesk are safe but the same cannot be said of Currow, who will need to defeat St Senan’s to have any hope of avoiding the drop.
Firies are in pole position in Division 4A with Renard and then Fossa gunning for top spot in 4B. Stacks B and Cordal are in pole position in Divisions 5A and 5B, and it’s all to play for in Division 6 as the B teams of Dingle, Firies, Fossa, Kenmare, Glenflesk and Rathmore, as well as the Dr Crokes C team and Tuosist, are all still in the mix for promotion.
Full fixture list and tables can be found on the Kerry GAA website and across the Kerry GAA social media channels.
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