Kerry's Eye Sports

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KERRY'S EYE THIS WEEK - Published Thursday 5th March, 2015


Jim O Gorman

Sports Editor


Kerry's Eye Sports Supplement



Cooper on Road To Riches










Bryan Cooper rates Cheltenham Gold Cup contender Road To Riches as one of his best mounts as this year’s festival approaches.

As retained rider to Gigginstown House Stud, Cooper has the pick of their runners and named the Noel Meade-trained winner of this season’s Champion Chase and Lexus Chase as one of his best rides.

He also picked out the Gordon Elliott duo of Don Cossack, likely for the Ryanair Chase, and Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle fancy No More Heroes as other very good mounts.

“At this stage final plans are still to be decided and we don’t know yet exactly where every horse will run.

“The ones I’m really looking forward to at the moment are Don Cossack, Road To Riches and No More Heroes.

“They should all go there with great chances but I’m not nominating one as my best ride as that’ll probably get them beat!

“Outlander and Tell Us More are also great rides to have, but there is no final plan with them yet. The Neptune looks the obvious race for Outlander.”

With many Kerry punters hoping Cooper rides plenty of winners at the upcoming Cheltenham Festival, the young Kerry man warmed up with a double at Navan on Sunday. He scored an all-the-way success on the Eoin Griffin-trained Azorian in the beginners’ chase and followed up on Tony Martin’s No Secrets in the veterans’ handicap chase.

Punters will have a last chance of meeting Bryan Cooper at Quane’s in Blennerville tonight at 9pm in the last of a round of Preview nights.

Liebherr make history






Liebherr created their own bit of history after winning their first senior All-Ireland inter-firm title. They recorded a deserving and convincing victory over the reigning champions Medtronic at Fossa on Friday evening.

Having won the All Ireland Junior Inter-firm title last year with Kerry inter-county star Declan O’Sullivan to the fore, this year they stepped up in standard. The Galway opposition were senior title holders but the Kerry firm, with Declan O’Sullivan encouraging from the sidelines, had too much firepower.

After a sluggish opening half, last year's junior champions upped the tempo of their game on the restart. The fundamental difference between the sides was Liebherr's superior fire power. The winners enjoyed a scoring spread of six players, while the Galway outfit were limited to just two of their side engineering scores from play.

Team manager Kieran O'Mahony, whose brother Aidan knows a thing or two about winning All-Ireland titles, was a proud coach afterwards.

“It is great especially after winning the All-Ireland Junior last year. We have a lot of work put into it. There were thirteen clubs represented today in the starting fifteen and that is great as well. It is a great achievement.”

Paul Galvin made a sensational return to the Kerry fold on Tuesday - when he took part in Kerry Seniors v u21s challenge match.

The former Footballer of the Year announced his retirement from inter county football in February last year, saying “there comes a time when you have to consider work and other things in life.”

But if the news of his retirement was a shock then the All Star’s return aged 35 is an even greater surprise.

In a brief statement on the Kerry website on Tuesday, Eamon Fitzmaurice said “Paul Galvin has rejoined the Kerry Senior Football squad and resumed training this evening".

Galvin follows in the footsteps of the likes of Eoin Brosnan, Sean O’Sullivan and Mike McCarthy, who all came out of retirement in recent years, while Eoin Liston returned to play for Kerry aged 36 in 1993.

Liston endorsed Galvin’s return on Tuesday night.

“He brings experience. They tried him as a defender before he retired and things weren’t going well for him at the time and he packed it in. But he is obviously mentally fresh and has thought a lot about it,” he said.

“I’ve great faith in the management team and Galvin and that he can get back up to the required level. He has been a great competitor and there is a challenge there for him now. He’ll be told very quickly by Eamonn if it is or isn’t working out.”

The return of Galvin along with the anticipated return of Colm Cooper, added to the presence of Tommy Walsh, is sure to result in extra competition for places in the senior panel.

Read the full story in Kerry's Eye

Mounthawk take first senior crown

In a good week for Kerry basketball Mercy Mounthawk were crowned the 19B Girls Senior Schools League All-Ireland champions. They beat Mercy Mounthawk 57-43 Scoil Mhuire Longford 57-43 in the final a win that Mercy Mounthawk coach Thomas O’Hanlon described as “a great reward for all the work put in”.

“This is our first senior win in the 15-year history of the school.”

Sadly, IS Killorglin and St Pat’s Castleisland came up just short in their All-Ireland finals.

There was more good news for Kerry basketball fans as both Team Den Joe’s and Garvey’s Tralee Imperials qualified for the Women’s Division 1 play-offs.

As expected, this Kerry derby went down to wire at the weekend with nothing between the sides all through the game with Den Joe’s taking the win 61-60.

The Castleisland side will certainly be the happier as the win sees them secure 2nd place in the table which coach Cormac O’Donoghue called “a serious achievement given the age profile of the squad”.

This means they will have a home play off semi-final against Oblate Dynamos while Imperials fourth place means they will travel to Portlaoise. They will take on the treble chasing, and unbeaten, Panthers in a repeat of last season’s League final.

The reward for the winners of both semi-finals is a place in the Women’s League Division 1 play-off final which is due to be played in Galway in late March.

Read the full story in Kerry's Eye

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