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Templenoe to test Crokes in last eight

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Former Dr Crokes and Kerry goalkeeper Eamonn Fitzgerald previews all four of this weekend’s Kerry SFC quarter-final ties.

“It will be great weekend of football and some close ties. Some games may go to extra-time and shudder the thought that any game will be decided on a penalty shoot-out, the last resort. There must be a final result to each game on the day. Which team has been practising penalties?”

That was the final paragraph in last week’s preview of Round 1 of the Kerry SFC. That was the fate of Spa on Saturday last. Legion beat their local rivals 5-4 on penalties after a very well contested local derby.

Champions East Kerry’s bid for their third title in a row came unstuck in Tralee as Stacks prevailed in a very low scoring affair (1-7 to 1-5). That scoreline would indicate a very close affair. It was, for a brief few moments near the end. But East Kerry were never in this game. A late 1-1 flattered them in a match that Stacks dominated from start to finish.

Elsewhere, a winning scoreline of 0-13 to 1-3 appears one-sided, but it took Crokes a long time to assert superiority. They won well without playing well against a very limited opposition in West Kerry. Crokes are building a new team giving senior championship debuts to Mark Cooper, David Naughton and Evan Looney. They were in from the start and can be well satisfied with their debuts.

QUARTER-FINALS

So, what of the next round? With just a week since they last played, the team managers will be hoping that any injuries sustained will be cleared up for this weekend’s fixtures.

Legion v St Brendan’s (Sat 7pm, Austin Stack Park)

This is a tough one for the Legion, a club team meeting a district board team. St Brendan’s did well to get over the fancied Kenmare Shamrocks in Round 1.

Dominance at midfield will be crucial in this game, where the Kerry and Na Gaeil stars Diarmuid O’Connor and Jack Barry will be expected to exert superiority. Which big men will Legion play there to avert that dominance?

If Legion do well here, they will expect Conor Keane, James O’Donoghue and Jamie O’Sullivan to tack on those winning scores. O’Donoghue went off injured so Legion will be hoping he has recovered. They will also look to Jonathan Lyne, Brian Kelly, Billy McGuire, Rob Leen, Chris Davies and Darragh Lyne to stifle St Brendan’s.

Dingle v Kerins O’Rahillys (Sat 5pm, Austin Stack Park)

This looks to have the makings of the best of the weekend’s matches. Both teams came through the last round in style.

Former Kerry star Tommy Walsh was excellent against St Kieran’s, winning so much possession and scoring six points in total. Was his retirement from intercounty football premature?

Dingle impressed me in Tralee. Powered by no fewer than five Geaneys - they aren’t all brothers - they had a right battle with Mid Kerry, the beaten finalists from last year. Right corner forward Conor Geaney scored the match-winning goal in the very last minute when extra time seemed certain. One must allow for the bad weather, but even so a final tally of 1-7 to 0-8 was a disappointing score. Mid Kerry missed two great goal opportunities. After 20 minutes, Cathal Moriarty’s penalty shot hit the woodwork and went over for a point instead of the expected goal.

Later, Seán O’Brien was clear through on his own, but a superb save by Gavin Curran denied him the goal they needed. Conor Geaney’s superb finish was the difference. Kerry colleagues Tom O’Sullivan and Paul Geaney set up this winning score. The latter sent in a speculative shot that was misjudged by the Mid Kerry rearguard and Conor fetched a great ball before using the ciotóg to crash the ball low past Seán Coffey. The injured Gavan O’Grady did not start for Mid Kerry and his scoring potential was missed. After the Geaney goal he pointed a free.

Templenoe v Dr Crokes (Sunday 12.45pm, Fitzgerald Stadium)

Templenoe are backboned by their four Kerry senior players and when these two teams met in the Club Championship, Templenoe shocked the Crokes with a five-point win. Two early Templenoe goals rocked the Crokes that day and they were chasing the game (unsuccessfully) thereafter.

Templenoe learned nothing against a woefully weak Shannon Rangers team and will be without Killian Spillane this season. That will blunt their scoring power, but it will take a step-up in performance by Crokes to overturn the result of their last encounter in Templenoe.

It will be interesting to see if Crokes will take Gavin White out of his customary centre back position to partner Johnny Buckley at midfield, releasing the towering Mark O’Shea to number 14 where he would be expected to revel in high fielding.

Austin Stacks v South Kerry (Sunday 2.45pm, Fitzgerald Stadium)

Stacks are the bookies favourites not alone to win this game but also to do the Club and County Championship double. They have a very good, disciplined defence, rarely committing fouls, and hey break at speed. Even their full back line add on the points. Their midfield is strong, but the forwards are wasteful. Still, they will have enough to outscore South Kerry.

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Glorious weather for Kerry County Coastal Rowing championships

It was a day of glorious sunshine yesterday (Sunday) as Flesk Valley Rowing Club hosted the 2022 Kerry County Coastal Rowing championships for the very first time in beautiful Castlelough […]

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It was a day of glorious sunshine yesterday (Sunday) as Flesk Valley Rowing Club hosted the 2022 Kerry County Coastal Rowing championships for the very first time in beautiful Castlelough Bay on Lough Lein.

Hundreds flocked to the Valley shore to see the coastal clubs of Kerry race in crews from Under 12 to Masters. As well as clubs from around the Ring of Kerry, there was a strong representation from the Killarney clubs with the Workmen, Commercials and Fossa wearing their colours with pride. The atmosphere, colour, fun and fierce competition produced a spectacular day that will live long in the memory.

The event was opened by the Councillor John O’Donoghue, vice chair of the Killarney Municipal District who congratulated Flesk Valley on their centenary, which occurred during 1920, and wished all of the clubs a successful day’s racing.

The first race was preceded by a special blessing of the boats by Fr Eugene McGillycuddy, who also remembered Brendan Teahan of Cromane Rowing Club in his prayers.

Afterwards John Fleming, chair of Flesk Valley, expressed his immense pride and satisfaction with the success of the regatta.

“It’s our first time ever hosting a regatta, but we wanted to do something special to mark our 102 years in existence,” he said.

“It was a lot of work, but we have a fantastic hard-working committee in Flesk Valley who really pulled out all the stops to make it happen, and we received fantastic support from our members, parents, other clubs and local businesses.”

John also thanked the Kerry Coastal Rowing Association, in particular Mary B Teahan and Andrew Wharton, and the staff of the Killarney National Park for all their support and encouragement in hosting this event.

This was a qualifying event and the Kerry clubs will be heading to Wexford next weekend to complete for honours at the All-Ireland Coastal Rowing Championships.

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Live referee mics should be the norm – swearing concerns be damned

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by Adam Moynihan

I was disappointed to learn that the GAA are preventing TG4 from using their live referee mic in this Sunday’s Wexford hurling final.

(And not just because I had already written an article saying how great live referee mics are and how they are sure to be implemented across the board. Ctrl + A. Delete.)

TG4’s GAA coverage is superb and they raised the bar once again when they mic’d up referee John O’Halloran for the Kerry hurling final between Causeway and Ballyduff.

Pinning a microphone on the referee is standard practice in televised rugby and judging by the positive response to Gaelic games’ first foray into this territory, I was expecting it to become the norm.

It still might but, explaining their decision to The 42, the GAA said that they were not aware beforehand of the ref mic being trialled in Stack Park on Sunday.

“They believe such a development will require more discussion and education if it is to be implemented on a more regular basis in live TV coverage and could possibly need a policy change,” Fintan O’Toole reported.

The image of the Association is surely the primary concern here.

Players and managers – usually the worst behaved participants when it comes to things like swearing – will be among those who get “educated” on the subject. Some verbal abuse that might otherwise be muted for television viewers will, in all likelihood, be picked up by the referee’s microphone. You would imagine that the teams involved will be reminded of this the week of a televised game.

It also makes sense from Croke Park’s point of view to speak to referees and give them guidance on how to conduct themselves when the mic is on.

In fact, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if senior GAA figures are currently fretting over the possibility of an agitated ref making headlines for something they say in the heat of the moment. And make no mistake about it, some match officials can eff and jeff with the best of them.

A friend of mine (a Wexford man, funnily enough) recalls an incident when a teammate was unceremoniously taken out of it by an opponent.

“Ah ref, for f***’s sake!” the victim complained.

“I gave you the f***ing free,” the referee replied. “What do you want me to do, slap him in the face with a wet fish?!”

The GAA might think that a referee swearing like that would leave all of us red-faced. In reality the clip would be a viral sensation and the general public would probably call for the official in question to run for Áras an Uachtárain. (He’d get my ****ing vote.)

The odd swear word from someone involved is bound to sneak through every now and then but you’d hear the same – and plenty more – at any match you attend from Cahersiveen to County Antrim.

Implementing the referee mic on a wider scale is a no-brainer as far as I’m concerned. It doesn’t appear to take a huge amount of effort or expense for the broadcaster to set it up and, more importantly, it offers a wonderful insight into the unknown.

Listening to referees explain their decisions in real time will clear a lot of things up for commentators, analysts and the media. We will no longer have to speculate about what they did or did not see, or what specific rule is being cited, or why.

Viewers, especially those who might be casual followers of the sport, will appreciate it too and become more educated; I know that’s how I feel when I watch rugby, for example.

It just leads to greater transparency and understanding.

Well done to TG4 and the Kerry County Board for being the pioneers. I’m sure others will follow their lead – as soon as the GAA allow them to do so.

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