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Tralee rivals feeling the heat ahead of crunch relegation playoff



On Saturday another town club will be demoted to the intermediate grade of Kerry football as Kerins O’Rahillys take on Na Gaeil in the senior relegation playoff. The match will take place in Austin Stack Park at 4.30pm. It will be streamed live by Clubber.

If they were to be relegated, it would mark a significant fall from grace for Rahillys who reached the Kerry SFC final as recently as 2021. They also claimed the Senior Club Championship title in 2022 before going on to win the Munster Club Championship in impressive fashion. Ultimately, they came up just short against Dublin kingpins Kilmacud Crokes in the All-Ireland semi-final.

The club from Strand Road found the going tough in this year’s Club Championship, losing all three of their group games by ten points or more. Key forward Jack Savage returned to Ireland for the County Championship and they picked up a win against Shannon Rangers, but it wasn’t enough to qualify from a group that also contained Mid Kerry and Spa. Reaching the final would have automatically saved them from relegation.

For crosstown rivals Na Gaeil, Saturday’s playoff will be the last outing of their second season at senior level, and they will naturally be hoping to survive and secure their status for a third consecutive year. They also struggled in the Club Championship, losing all three of their games against Spa, Kenmare Shamrocks and Templenoe.

Some brief respite came via an excellent victory over Dr Crokes in the Kerry SFC but their failure to advance from their group and make it all the way to the final means the prospect of returning to intermediate is now staring them in the face.

The midfield battle between Rahillys pair David Moran and Tom Hoare and Na Gaeil duo Jack Barry and Diarmuid O’Connor will be of critical importance. Can county men O’Connor and Barry dominate, or will their former mentor Moran steer his side clear of danger?

The final of the Junior Premier Championship also takes place this weekend. Listowel Emmets square off against Ballymac on Sunday at 2pm at Austin Stack Park.

The semi-finals of the Novice Championship are both on Saturday at 3pm. Asdee play Lispole in Connolly Park and Scartaglen take on Duagh in Knocknagoshel.



Kerry ladies must bounce back at home to Waterford



All-Ireland Senior Championship Group 2

Kerry v Waterford

Saturday 3pm

Fitzgerald Stadium

The Kerry ladies will be looking to get back to winning ways against Waterford on Saturday following last weekend’s frustrating draw against Donegal in Ballybofey.

The Kingdom led with seconds remaining in treacherous conditions but a late Donegal free snatched a draw for the home side (Donegal 1-6 Kerry 0-9). It was a game that Kerry would have been expecting to win and the result puts a lot more pressure on them this weekend as they try to top the three-team group and earn a home quarter-final.

If they beat Waterford and Donegal do likewise next week, Kerry and Donegal will be level in first place on four points each. The top seed will then be decided by the head-to-head record between the teams. As Kerry v Donegal was a draw, the deciding factor will be whoever scored the most points in that draw. That would be good news for Kerry as they scored nine points to Donegal’s six.

When Kerry and Waterford last met (in this year’s Munster Championship), Kerry needed a late winner by Fiadhna Tangney to prevail by narrowest of margins (1-8 to 1-7). If Waterford beat Kerry and then lose to Donegal, Kerry would be eliminated from the championship.

The Kerry squad has been boosted by the return of Síofra O’Shea who came off the bench against Donegal following a lengthy period out with a knee injury.

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US-bound Kerry runner Lynch hopes to emulate Mageean magic



by Adam Moynihan

Killarney middle distance runner Oisín Lynch is taking inspiration from newly crowned European 1500m champion Ciara Mageean as he gets set for the next stage of his career in the United States.

This week Lynch confirmed that he will be heading Stateside after accepting a scholarship at Adams State University in Colorado. The promising 800m and 1500m competitor caught the eye of coaches at the leading American college after representing Ireland in the Youth Olympics and also by winning two national titles in recent months.

Speaking to the Killarney Advertiser, the 18-year-old Killarney Valley AC athlete, who is currently doing his Leaving Cert at St Brendan’s College, says he one day hopes to emulate Mageean’s heroics on the international stage.

“The Irish are on the up at underage and at senior level,” Lynch notes. “We have been improving a lot in recent years. When you see Ciara Mageean winning the 1500m it just shows that it can be done by Irish people.

“Sometimes Irish athletes don’t really believe in themselves when they’re getting knocked out of championships by English or European athletes. Mageean winning that European title is definitely something to drive me on. It shows that I can actually do it.”


For Lynch, moving to the United States is a hugely significant step, and one that he has dreamed about making since he was a child.

“It’s unbelievable. I always hoped I could earn a scholarship. I worked hard over the last few years, so it’s nice to see that work paying off.

“I had a few schools onto me but when Adams State got in touch, I sized it up and I knew it was a really good opportunity.

“The fact that the college is at 7,500 feet… That’s a crazy altitude. It’s double the height of Carrauntoohil. Altitude training has massive benefits for distance running and nowadays nearly every pro spends most of their year training at altitude. The chance to get that training for the next couple of years is great.

“And their athletics programme is unbelievable. Coach Damon Martin has been there for 40 years and he has coached 12 Olympians. Adams State is in the top 15 for distance in the country and the standard out there in America is very high.”


Killarney Valley AC have made enormous strides since building their new, state-of-the-art facility in 2020 and Lynch is a grateful beneficiary of that progress.

“I can’t thank the club enough. Going back a couple of years we were training on grass in parks. When you want to be a track runner, it’s just not the same. After a lot of hard work by a lot of good people, we managed to get a 200-metre track in Killarney. That’s massive for us and it’s all we need for training.

“The coaches down there are putting in the hard work, including my dad (Con), Tomás Griffin, Jean Courtney, Jerry Griffin, Bríd Stack, Alan Delaney… I could go on. It’s a great club and there are some good athletes coming through. It’s an exciting time for Killarney Valley.”

After Lynch completes his Leaving Cert, he will start preparing for life as a college athlete. He will study kinesiology in Colorado and on the track he hopes to keep on moving in the right direction. That means getting his times down (his current PBs are 1.50.59 over 800m and 3.51 over 1500m), representing Ireland, and hopefully winning a national title in America.

“Obviously I’ll take every step as it comes,” the ambitious Kerryman says, “but the Olympics is the main long-term target, hopefully in LA in 2028.”

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