Kerry's Eye Sports

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KERRY'S EYE THIS WEEK - Published Thursday 14th August, 2014


Jim O Gorman

Sports Editor


Kerry's Eye Sports Supplement



Rory Hill wins Munster Amateur Close







Tralee golfer Rory Hill hit the top twice last week - winning the Munster U17 Amateur Close at Ennis, and doing it with a personal best of 67, the lowest round of his career. The success saw the promising Tralee GC teen go one better than the previous week, when he lost out in a three-way play-off for Munster Boys Open Championship at Ballybunion.

Rory will now concentrate on getting down to scratch and preparing for an assault on all the major boys competitions next year.

He hopes to make the Irish team in 2015.

It has been an astonishing few weeks for Kerry teenage golfers, as Killarney’s Mairead Martin has been picked as a reserve to go to Canada this autumn on the Irish team for the World Junior Girls Under 18 Championships in Ontario.  This comes on the back of a superb Girls Home Internationals at Donabate last week, despite Ireland only finishing second to champions England. Martin went through the Home Internationals unbeaten.

Then Tommy O’Driscoll (Ring of Kerry) was in action in the Boys Home Internationals, and though England were crowned Boys Home Internationals champions, Tommy won 2/3 foursomes and won his singles in the crucial match against England that Ireland lost 8/7.

Racing returns to Ballybeggan on Saturday and Sunday

On this Saturday and Sunday, in conjunction with the weekend when the Festival of Kerry and the Roses will adorn our streets, racing with a difference returns to Ballybeggan Park in Tralee.

The Kerry International Horse and Pony Racing Championships will be staged over the two days at Ballybeggan Park, and is the biggest development in the sport since racing under rules held its last meeting in October 2008.

To add even further spice to the weekend, a group of 17 young English jockeys will take on their Irish counterparts in an eight-race card on Saturday afternoon.

This competition will be run on a points’ basis and as always there will be huge rivalry between the two sides.

Horse and pony racing is the training ground for all young jockeys and is now enjoying its highest ever profile, including names like Connor King, Oisin Murphy, Paul Townend, Gavin Sheehan and Brendan Powell.

The Irish contingent will include Jack Kennedy from Dingle, the record-breaking dual national champion jockey of the last two years.

John Joe O’Neill will be there on Saturday as his two sons will be representing England.

Saturday is also Ladies Day. Racing starts at 2.30pm with nine races and on Sunday at 3pm with an eight-race card.

Mark O’Sullivan, joint secretary, is delighted with preparations and is hoping that the people of Tralee and Kerry will support it.

“It’s taken a lot of work over the last seven months to get everything organised for this meeting.

“We have all the races sponsored at this stage. It’ll be a great two days of racing and it’s at meetings like this that many of the top jockeys get started.”

Kerry hopeful on Kelly

Hopes are high within the Kerry County Board that Kerry senior hurling manager Eamon Kelly will agree to a second year in charge.

The Tipperary native has impressed both players and fans alike with the thoroughness of preparation and style of hurling he has brought to the county.

Kelly took the Kingdom to the top spot in the Allianz League Division 2A and a prmotion play-off with Offaly.

His side then reached the Christy Ring final, only to be beaten by Kildare.

Kelly has been present at much of this year’s county senior hurling championship.

But the Kildangan man wanted to clarify a few issues with the Board before continuing in his role.

Sources close to the County Executive expressed the hope that those issues have been settled satisfactorily. They are optimistic that Kelly will be ratified by Committee later in this autumn.

Meanwhile, preparatory work is expected to commence at Currans, where the Centre of Excellence is being built, by the end of August.

Finally, the GAA/GPA All Stars have just announced James O'Donoghue (Kerry) and Lee Chin (Wexford) as the Players of the Month in football and hurling respectively.

The selections, chosen by the inter-county playing body, recognise the individual contributions made by both players for their respective counties during the month.

Read the full story in Kerry's Eye

Killarney August Festival starts Wednesday

The Killarney August Racing Festival commences next Wednesday, August 20th, and runs until Saturday 23rd when Killarney will draw a close on its very successful 2014 racing season with Littlewoods Ireland Ladies Day.

The first three days of racing are all evening meetings. Wednesday features the Vincent O’Brien Ruby Stakes with a prize fund of €40,000. The newly crowned 2014 Rose of Tralee will be attendance on Wednesday evening along with other Roses and their families.

Thursday is a mixed race card and features the Owens McCarthy Claims Specialists Kingdom Gold Cup with a €50,000 prize fund.

Racegoers will enjoy a mixed card on Friday which will feature the At The Races Handicap Hurdle.  With a prize fund of over €100,000 on offer for the evening, some great racing is expected.

Saturday will see Killarney racecourse host its Littlewoods Ireland Ladies Day.

Ladies will be out to impress TV3’s Ireland AM presenter Sinead Desmond the Littlewoods judge to win the fabulous prize of a €1,500 Littlewoods Ireland shopping spree and coveted title of Best Dressed Lady.  Nine stylish runners-up will receive a €100 Littlewoods Ireland spending spree.

Killarney racecourse manager Micheál Lucey, who is busy preparing for the upcoming August Festiva, said, “The festival always attracts some great racing and Killarney is well known for its fantastic atmosphere and after our most successful July festival we are very much looking forward to the August Racing Festival”.

The first race on Wednesday is at 5.10pm, with Thursdays off at 5.10pm, Friday off at 5pm and Saturday going to post at 1.45pm.

Read the full story in Kerry's Eye

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