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St Mary’s respond to coach’s claims about disbanded team

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St Mary’s Basketball Club Castleisland have refuted claims made by their former Super League coach surrounding the sudden disbanding of the team.

When the club decided to pull its Super League side citing a lack of numbers, coach Liam Culloty responded with a statement on Twitter saying that he and his players were “shocked and disappointed” with the move.

"Currently we have eight Irish players from around the county fully committed to playing Super League and we had hoped with the addition of one or two professional players along with some of the fantastic underage talent emerging in the county that we would have a squad more than capable of competing,” Culloty said.

"Alas, we were never given this opportunity to recruit further players to the squad."

Culloty also expressed his dismay that he and his players were notified by text message.

"[There was] no effort made to meet the players and management informing them of the decision before it was released to the media on Saturday. The very least we felt we deserved was the opportunity to fight our corner and see could a solution be found to allow the team to stay in the league."

The club issued another statement this week refuting some of Culloty’s claims, while also apologising for the manner in which the decision was communicated.

“Contrary to what is being portrayed by the statement on Twitter, St Mary’s is a local club and not a county set-up, i.e. not a Kerry team. It would appear from reading the statement that the coach had an ambition for this to be a Kerry set-up, yet this was something that was never brought up for discussion with St Mary’s who were financing the team.

“We are a club team, our first loyalties are to our club and club members. While we are, and always have been in the past, happy to welcome link players in, at no time during recent discussions had any individual player from any part of the county expressed to the club an interest to link or indeed transfer for next season. Conversations had been had with the coach regarding player numbers, the opportunity to recruit has been there since the end of the 2021/22 season.

“A phone call to the coach to inform him of the decision that had been made not to continue in Super League was placed on Friday, June 10. The call went unanswered and was not returned, due to the approaching Basketball Ireland deadline a text message was then sent. However, prior to this, the coach had been aware and involved in discussions and several club meetings were held around the issue.

“The club does regret that players were made aware of the decision by text message. The message thanked players for their dedication over the years and apologised that players were not being met in person. A committee member also phoned all players the following day.

“Team members have since been contacted again, apologised to for being told by text and have been given the opportunity to meet face to face if they wish.”

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Schools compete for pitch and putt title

By Michelle Crean A pitch and putt competition which began in St Oliver’s National School 14 years ago is now gaining momentum with other local schools taking part. Back in […]

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By Michelle Crean

A pitch and putt competition which began in St Oliver’s National School 14 years ago is now gaining momentum with other local schools taking part.

Back in 2007, St Oliver’s pupil Leon Hennessy asked if the school could start a pitch and putt competition.

After much perseverance from Leon, teacher Noel O’Sullivan asked his colleague Tommy Galvin, who they dubbed as their ‘Minister of Sports’, and it was organised for June 2008.

As part of the competition the winner would receive the Brendan Walshe Shield in honour of the former principal of St Oliver’s.

“Over the years we have had various pupils win the shield who have gone on to excel in pitch and putt and golf, including John Kerrisk, Ewan MacIndoe, Stephen and Conor McCarthy, and Brian McCarthy who won it in Fourth Class and Sixth Class, denied a trio of victories by the lockdown in 2020, when he was in Fifth Class,” Noel told the Killarney Advertiser.

“Tommy Galvin retired last year but we had a regular chat about opening up the competition to other schools. So this year I decided to make this idea happen and though the idea was thrown out there late enough in May, Lissivigeen, the Monastery and the Gaelscoil were in a position to enter a team in June.

“We had a very high standard of pitch and putt, and the winning score came from a birdie on the last, care of the overall individual winner, Dara Wickham of Lissivigeen NS. That birdie handed Lissivigeen the overall victory.”

It was decided to name the shield for this new inter schools’ competition the ‘Tommy Galvin Shield’ as it would be a fitting recognition of Tommy’s work promoting pitch and putt, and golf in the primary schools in Killarney.

“Tommy was surprised and delighted with the news which we sprung on him at the prize giving. He encouraged the boys and girls present to give pitch and putt, and golf a go, and to try new sports over the summer.”

Tommy is captain of the Killarney Golf Club and supports an excellent youth set up in the club, he added.

“The Killarney Golf Club also has seen a huge growth in girls playing and we were delighted to have three girls compete in the pitch and putt competition. Cora O’Sullivan won the Best Girl prize which makes me a very proud father!

“Hopefully next year the Tommy Galvin Shield will feature more schools and that this is the beginning of a hotly contested competition over the coming years!”

He thanked Deerpark Pitch and Putt Club for their sponsorship.

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Kerry book Dublin date with eight-point victory over Mayo

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Adam Moynihan reports from Croke Park

All-Ireland SFC Quarter-Final

Kerry 1-18 Mayo 0-13

HT: Kerry 1-7 Mayo 0-9

He wasn’t going to play at all according to the pre-match rumours but a beautiful first-half goal by David Clifford helped Kerry to a surprisingly comfortable victory over Mayo this evening.

Although he limped through much of the game, Kerry’s No. 14 burst into life in the 28th minute to fire his side into a two-point lead.

It wasn’t all plain-sailing thereafter – The Kingdom struggled to push on, even when Aidan O’Shea was black-carded moments later – but they did ultimately pull away in the second half thanks in no small part to another assured defensive performance.

Next up: a date with Dublin in the All-Ireland semi-final in two weeks’ time.

STRANGE

The so-called curtain-raiser was a hard act to follow and the first half of this game was accompanied by a strange atmosphere; it was as though the crowd were as drained by the opening match as the Armagh and Galway players must have been following their penalty shootout drama.

The second match was delayed by a full hour, which surely didn’t help Kerry and Mayo in their preparations.

Kerry star Clifford was rumoured to be struggling with an injury right up until throw-in but he did take to the field, although he required treatment almost immediately when he went over on his ankle in front of the Canal End. Nevertheless, he registered Kerry’s first score of the day, a free to cancel out Cillian O’Connor’s opener.

Gavin White gave Kerry the lead with a neat finish in the third minute but then two well-taken scores by Conor Loftus and Aidan O’Shea edged Mayo in front.

Paul Geaney missed a great goal chance in the 11th minute before Kerry re-established their lead via Tom O’Sullivan and another Clifford free.

Seán O’Shea and Geaney took Kerry’s total to 0-6 but points at the other end by O’Connor, Rob Hennelly, Jack Carney and Stephen Coen had Mayo ahead with seven minutes left in the period.

Then Clifford struck for goal after being set up by Stephen O’Brien, and when O’Shea was sent to the bin the signs were ominous for Mayo.

James Horan’s men managed the binning well, however, and scores by O’Connor and Kevin McLoughin – either side of a fine effort by David Moran – made it a one-point game at the break.

RUN

The opening stages of the second were nip and tuck with neither team really grabbing the match by the scruff of the neck but a run of seven straight points between the 51st and 67th minutes sealed the result. Moran (who rather unexpectedly – and very encouragingly – played the full 70 minutes), Tom O’Sullivan, Geaney (three), Killian Spillane and Seán O’Shea all found the target during this period.

Kerry now have two weeks to prepare for the challenge of Dublin. Speaking post-game, Jack O’Connor said he reckons David Clifford will be sore tomorrow. One suspects that his best player will be wrapped up in cotton wool for the next few days at least.

KERRY: S Ryan; G O’Sullivan (0-1), J Foley, T O’Sullivan (0-3); B Ó Beaglaoich, G White (0-1), T Morley; D O’Connor, D Moran (0-2); D Moynihan, Seán O’Shea (0-3, 1f), S O’Brien; P Clifford, D Clifford (1-3, 1m), P Geaney (0-4, 1m).

Subs: K Spillane for Moynihan (48), P Murphy for Ó Beaglaoich (58), M Burns for O’Brien (59), J O’Connor for D O’Connor (65), T Brosnan for Clifford (67), G Crowley for Foley (73 temp).

MAYO: R Hennelly (0-1f); L Keegan, O Mullin, E Hession; P Durcan, S Coen (0-1), E McLaughlin; A O’Shea (0-1), M Ruane (0-1); J Flynn (0-2), D O’Connor, C Loftus (0-1); K McLoughlin (0-1), J Carney (0-1), C O’Connor (0-3, 1f).

Subs: J Carr (0-1) for Carney (HT), F Boland for Loftus (52), A Orme for McLaughlin (58), P O’Hora for O’Shea (64), P Towey for Orme (73).

Attendance: 71,353

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