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KERRY'S EYE THIS WEEK - Published Thursday April 16th, 2015

 

Jim O Gorman

Sports Editor

Email: sports@kerryseye.com

Kerry's Eye Sports Supplement

Kerry hurlers win

promotion to Super 12

Kerry’s magnificent and historic one-point win over Antrim on Saturday won them promotion to Division 1B of the Allianz Hurling League. Next spring Kerry will play against Clare, Limerick, Laois, Offaly and Wexford .

Kerry manager Eamonn Kelly is not yet ready to contemplate the challenges it will bring.

“I think it’s great for the game. It’s great for the lads that they will get an opportunity to go shoulder to shoulder with the big boys but that is for another day.

“But we have the Christy Ring Cup starting in three weeks’ time against Down and we are not looking any further than that. We will think about the league once this Christy Ring Cup campaign is over, but what it does mean is that you will have to get very serious about your preparations.

“You cannot now convene at Christmas and have a chat and start training in January.

“We will have to wind the clock back to October to start making preparations for life in Div.1B in 2016.”

Last year the manager felt in the wake of the Offaly defeat that perhaps the lads were not ready for the step, but Kelly believes a year on, things are different.

“I think that we are far more professional in what we are doing now. We have a small but select panel but these lads are very honest in the way they go about it. I think our panel is stronger and whether we are ready or not, time will tell, because there is a lot of work to be done to get up that level.”

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PS Chorca Dhuibhne

make history

PS Chorca Dhuibhne’s defeat of Roscommon CBS in last Saturday’s Hogan Cup final created history. They became the first Kerry College to retain the Hogan Cup.

They now join the likes of St Jarlath’s of Tuam, St Colman’s Newry, Carmelite College Moate and St Pat’s Navan as the only colleges to do back-to-back Hogan Cup victories.

For a long time it seemed as if Roscommon CBS' dour, defensive approach would deny them at the brink. But in the pulsating finish, Corca Dhuibhne was nerveless in a nerve-wracking game to again take a merited victory.

Trainer Ciarán O Moráin admitted that it was a close-run thing.

“We were definitely under pressure. These guys have a habit of not doing things the easy way! There was going to be no panic. These guys have been around, they have the experience. The drawn game in the Corn Ui Mhuiri, extra-time in the semi-final against St. Pats, and this game today. You can't ask for a more battle-hardened path than that”.

Captain Marc O Conchúir was trying to put this extraordinary victory into perspective. “We are absolutely over the moon. Roscommon packed their defence well, they were very disciplined, but we managed to find the cracks.

“We all trusted each other, we knew it would come. Our managers have been incredible, not just this year but all through my time in the school. Eamonn Fitzmaurice had us from first year, Ciarán O Moráin has been there all the time.

“Tommy Griffin has done the training for the past couple of years and the training is just unreal. Tomás O Beaglaoich with the gym work – and Seán O Flannery’s work with tactics and analysis, he found different ways of dealing with things and that worked today.”

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Cian’s road

leads to Rhode Island

One of Tralee’s brightest basketball prospects, 7 foot 1’ Cian O’Sullivan, will be swopping the courts of Tralee for those of Rhode Island in the US. He has been awarded a basketball scholarship to St Andrew’s Prep School, a school ranked in the Top 25 in America with a price tag of $50,000 a year to attend!

Cian will be the first player from Kerry to attend the prestigious school which has produced a number of NBA players like Michael Carter-Williams of the Milwaukee Bucks and Dallas Mavericks Ricky Ledo.

John Dowling, who has coached Cian for 6 years at Mounthawk School, explained how this came about.

“Three years ago we took a group of boys to the US and Cian impressed the coaches so much that he was offered a number of high school scholarships but obviously he was still young and wanted to complete his Leaving Cert. Last summer he went back to America to an ‘Exposure Camp’ and again attracted many offers.

“ However, coaches at the Mountkhawk Summer Camp had connections with St Andrews and once his prowess was seen they had no hesitation in offering him a full scholarship. It is one of the best rated schools that any player has gone over to and we all thrilled for Cian.”

The player himself is delighted with the opportunity. “I am thrilled with the opportunity to go to such a high-profile college. It is a huge opportunity, both from a sporting and educational point of view. I would love to go professional but that’s down the line. First I have four years of college to look forward to.”

Cian will head to the US in August as the coach wants him there for pre-season in what will be the beginning of a great sporting adventure for the Tralee player.

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