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KERRY'S EYE THIS WEEK - Published Thursday 17th July, 2014

 

Jim O Gorman

Sports Editor

Email: sports@kerryseye.com

Kerry's Eye Sports Supplement

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HEADLINES

KDL to install

all-weather pitch

The soccer clubs in Kerry may have been very disappointed with the lack of grants in last week’s government allocation.

But it was a particularly bitter pill to swallow for Kerry District League secretary John O’Regan. The KDL application for grant aid to help pay for the installation of a FIFA standard all-weather was turned down again, the third time it has been rejected.

But the League’s senior management team are determined to drive forward and roll out the new carpet this autumn.

Despite a shortfall of €51,000 at present, Mr O’Regan looked forward to a new pitch and a new season.

“At the end of September, there will definitely be bulldozers in Mounthawk Park but in the meantime I will ask that anybody who can help us financially to contact me on 086 2656605.”

The management are asking clubs to support their fund-raising initiatives.

“If the clubs gave their undivided support to the Johnny Giles Walk of Dreams, KDL would be able to apply for a grant from that fund.”

He ruled out any FAI support in the current climate.

“When the FAI had money, John Delaney was very good to Kerry and I’m sure that, in time to come, when they get some money, we will get a helping hand. But the bottom line is that we will have to do it ourselves.

“An all-weather pitch is essential as we have 23 clubs using our facilities.”

The new pitch will take 8 weeks to install so clubs will be able to avail of the facility in late November.

Killarney Golf Club’s Catriona Griffin has added to her growing reputation with a wonderful week of golfing success.

The 17-year-old secured the prestigious Connacht Girls title in Loughrea on Tuesday with a wonderful 3 round total of 226 in what were tough and testing conditions over the three day event and then went on to qualify in the top 6 in the Munster Seniors in Castletroy before going on to claim the U18 Munster Girls Senior Open De Courcey Trophy with a 4 round total of 230.

The Mid-Kerry girl has been in a rich vein of form this summer and now that she is free from exam pressure she has been able to concentrate fully on her golf.

She qualified second in the Ulster Girls and was also a top 5 Qualifier in the Leinster Girls tournament before going to finish 5th last weekend in the Carlow Senior Scratch Cup.

The Castlemaine girl’s handicap is now at a new low of 3.8 and if she maintains this level of performance Griffin looks like a near certainty to make the Irish Girls team that will compete in the Home Internationals.

Griffin fired an opening round of just one over par to take a big lead in Athenry and her overall winning margin was a clear 5 shots from Clodagh Warden in second place.

To complete a wonderful week for Killarney Golf Club, 13-year-old Valerie Clancy finished in third place in the Connacht Girls, finishing 6 shots behind Griffin. Killarney’s other teenage sensation, Mairead Martin, competed for Ireland in the European Girls’ Team Championships in Skalica, Slovakia.

Griffin takes Connacht by storm

If there was something familiar to Kerry fans watching Mario Gotze score the winning goal in this week’s World Cup final, that’s no surprise.

The little magician, who was sold by Borussia Dortmund to Bayern Munich for €37 million last year, was one of the stars of the German U16 side who played Ireland at Listowel Celtic’s resplendent Pat Kennedy Park in 2008.

This was the first schoolboy international played in Kerry and the Irish U16 team that day had two Listowel Celtic players on the team, Bryan Murphy and David Culhane.

Striker Bryan Murphy was credited with Ireland’s goal in a 1-1 draw but he was helped by appalling keeping by Marc-André ter Stegen who has just signed for Barcelona for €12 million.

That evening and David Culhane and colleagues blotted out Mario Gotze. But the German star blossomed later to become on of the best playmakers in the Bundesliga.

Chairman of Listowel Celtic, Aiden O’Connor, remembers that evening well.

“It was such a great night for our club to host the first schoolboy international.

“There were over 3,000 spectators, flags, a band and a parade.

“To be honest, Gotze didn’t catch my eye that night. I was too concerned watching my own players.”

Both parties have gone from strength to strength.

Gotze now has a World Cup medal but Listowel Celtic are hoping for medals of their own.

They are in a final of their own this Sunday - the Greyhound Bar KO Cup.

Read the full story in Kerry's Eye

Dr Crokes 5-in-a-row Senior County Championship ambitions bit the dust on Sunday evening when they lost to their neighbours, Legion, in a dramatic game.

Accordingly, John Mitchel’s 51-year-old record of winning a 5-in-a-row remains. All is not lost, however, for the Killarney club as their Munster Club 4-in-a-row ambitions still remain intact despite this shattering loss.

Dr Crokes meet Legion in the Senior Club final and if a divisional side wins the Garvey’s SuperValu Senior County Championship, Crokes could still represent Kerry in Munster if they manage to defeat Legion in the Senior Club final.

Sunday evening proved to be a momentous occasion for Peter Keane’s men. The South Kerry native guided St Mary’s to All-Ireland glory in Croke Park and the prominent businessman has transformed this Legion team with a series of impressive results.

Focus now switches to the Senior Hurling Championship this weekend. The first round swings into action on Friday night in Austin Stack Park with 2013 runners-up, Lixnaw, taking on Ballyheigue.

Kilmoyley play Causeway on Saturday evening and the Kilmoyley cause has been aided by the return of former manager, John Meyler. On Sunday, Abbeydorney play Crotta followed by the most anticipated game of the weekend between current champions St Brendan’s and Ballyduff.

Read the full story in Kerry's Eye

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