Sell-out Mounthawk crowd hoping for historic first win
LOI First Division
Kerry FC v Finn Harps
Tonight at 7.45pm
Another capacity crowd will pack into Mounthawk Park in Tralee this evening as Kerry FC try once again to get up and running in their maiden League of Ireland First Division campaign.
The green and white faithful are still waiting to savour that first ever win at this level following six defeats and a solitary draw in the opening seven matches of the season.
Most recently, an impressive brace by Joshua Giurgi helped Longford Town to a 2-0 victory over Kerry last weekend.
Giurgi’s first came at the end of some neat interplay and an incisive dribble, while the second arrived in the 89th minute when his long-range curler evaded Wayne Guthrie in the Kerry goal.
Seánie McGrath, Leo Gaxha and Nathan Gleeson all went close for the visitors when the tie was at 1-0 but it wasn’t to be.
That loss leaves Billy Dennehy’s side rooted to the bottom of the table on one point, two behind Treaty United (against whom they earned their only point to date) and six behind tonight’s opponents, Finn Harps.
Harps have a record of one win, three draws and three defeats and they’ll be hoping to bounce back from their last outing when they fell to a demoralising 7-1 drubbing at the hands of Waterford.
Their only victory to date came against Longford on March 18 when Ryan Rainey’s penalty proved decisive in a one-goal game.
For those who won’t be attending tonight’s match, it will be streamed live by LOI TV at a cost of €5.
Elsewhere in the First Division, league leaders Galway United will be seeking to maintain their 100% record when they travel cross-country to take on Wexford; second place Cobh Ramblers host Waterford; and third place Bray Wanderers welcome Athlone Town to the Carlisle Grounds.
Kerry’s fellow strugglers Treaty are at home to Longford Town. All matches kick off at 7.45pm.
Killarney man Maye pockets national pool title
Local lad Matthew Maye was the standout Kerry performer at the recent All-Ireland Pool Championships, which were staged at the INEC in Killarney.
Maye navigated a competitive field at the U23 grade to reach the final, but his All-Ireland hopes appeared to be slipping away when he trailed European finalist Aaron Doherty of Cork by two frames to six. The Killarney player battled back impressively, however, and he eventually prevailed 7-6 to clinch the title.
Matthew is still only 21 years of age and last year he won the All-Ireland Junior Championship. Following his latest victory he has now shown himself to be one of the top players in the country for his age.
Another Kerry Pool Association representative, Darragh Breen, had a great run by making it to both the All-Ireland Junior final and the U18 Singles final. With 410 competitors in the junior section, reaching the final was an outstanding achievement. Darragh has put in a huge amount of time and dedication to the game in the last couple of years and he is now reaping the reward of that work.
Over 800 participants from 27 counties took part in this year’s championships. Kerry had 36 players in total – more than they ever had before – with one team in the intermediate section and two teams in the junior section.
Kerry also had two Over 50 teams and an U23 side.
Cup glory on the double for Killarney Celtic
There was cause for celebration on the double for Killarney Celtic last Sunday as both their youths and senior teams captured silverware in Tralee.
The youths enjoyed a comprehensive victory over Killorglin in the Premier A league final with Eoghan Crowley (two), Dara O’Shea, Jason O’Sullivan and Cathal Kelly all finding the target in a 5-1 win at Mounthawk Park.
A little later at the same ground, the club’s senior team had a resounding win against Tralee Dynamos in the final of the League Cup. A 21st-minute rocket from the boot of Wayne Sparling sent Celtic on their way and further strikes by Witness Odirile and Cathal O’Shea (penalty) helped secure a 3-0 win. Veteran captain John McDonagh accepted the trophy on behalf of his teammates.
Celtic can now look forward to their Greyhound Bar KO Cup final on Sunday. They will take on the same team at the same venue at 6pm.
Their attention will then turn to a mouthwatering Premier A league final against crosstown rivals Killarney Athletic. That match has been fixed for Friday, June 2 at 7.30pm.
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