Author Topic: Kerry County Final  (Read 5476 times)

AZOffaly

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Kerry County Final
« on: November 10, 2006, 02:38:01 PM »
After over 20 years without a Senior title, South Kerry have the opportunity to make it 3 in a row next Sunday in Killarney. They will be taking on Gooch, Brosnan and the rest of the Dr. Crokes in a rematch of last year's decider. A couple of things that might reverse the result of last year would maybe be

1) Fitness worries over Declan O'Sullivan, and the definitely out John Sugrue of Renard. Sugrue is a fine midfielder who would be pushing for a county spot were he not a physio working up in Portlaoise up until recently. His injury is a big blow to himself, career wise in that he was opening his own practise in Kerry, and to South Kerry and Renard.

2) Maurice Fitzgerald is a year older, and no longer an automatic starter, although if Declan is injured he may well be on from the start.

3) Poor form of Paddy Curran. The super Waterville minor is a cause for concern, as his confidence seems to have been rattled since the minor replay.

4) The Gooch is fresh. Last year he was after being in Australia on the WWE tribute tour, and after the Australians had battered him, he was off the pace when he came back.

5) No replay for Crokes. Last year Crokes had a very tight schedule with a semi final replay against Gaelteacht I think, right before the final. Again due to Gooch's travels. They were knackered for the final.

6) Brosnan is healthy. Last year Brosnan was ill, and unable to perform. This year he is confident and fit.

All in all the balance would seem to be tipping towards the men from Killarney, but this is a battle hardened South Kerry side, and they always seem to play above the sum of their parts in the past few years. An intriguing aspect of this match is the continued perceived divide between the Crokes lads and the South Kerry lads on the Kerry panel. Gooch never went to South Kerry with Sam on the traditional march to the home captain's club. Gooch stayed in Killarney rather than hitting Dromid, and that has raised eyebrows down there.

In any case, it should be a good game, and I will be making the trek to Fitzgerald stadium on Sunday, le gcunamh Dé.

passedit

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Are ye listening TG4
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2006, 02:40:36 PM »
Get yer frickin cameras down there now.
Don't Panic

AZOffaly

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Re: Kerry County Final
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2006, 06:39:31 PM »
Well the three in a row is in the bag for the men from South Kerry, but it was far from easy. I didn't manage to make it down to Killarney, as the new baby deciided to keep me up until 5 am Sunday morning, but I listened in to Weeshie and Gary on Radio Kerry.

Declan O'Sullivan beat his suspected cartilage problem to play, while Paddy Curran made way for Maurice Fitzgerald in a strong South Kerry forward lineup, that also boasted Kerry panelist Ronan O'Connor from Foilmore, who kicked 3 points from play, as well as Denis O'Dwyer, Maurice Fitz and Declan O'Sullivan.

At half time South Kerry had played against the breeze, and turned around ahead by one point, 0-06 to 0-05. Things looked good for the Iveragh men, but two events shortly after half time threw them for six. Firstly the great man himself, who was winning ball and causing real problems for Crokes in his fetching and distribution was knocked out of the game after a collision with his own team mate, work colleague and brother in law, Denis O'Dwyer. Play was held up for 11 minutes, and for a time it sounded really bad as stretchers were brought, and Fitzgerald lay panned out on the ground, not moving at all. There were whispered comments about broken necks, but thankfully it seems that it turned out to be a concussion after the collision, and nothing more sinister. Shortly after the talisman departed, replaced by Paddy Curran (not a bad sub to bring on), another blow was dealt to South Kerry as Croke's O'Leary finished to the bottom corner of the South Kerry net to give the Killarney lads a 2 point lead.

As I mentioned in my 'preview' this South Kerry team are battle hardened at this stage now, and they used this double blow as the spur to take control of the game. Bryan Sheehan and Aidan O'Sullivan won the midfield battle, and the half back line, anchored by Junior All Ireland winners Brian Hickey of Portmagee and Dennis O'Sullivan of Dromid Pearses, drove them on.  As the game entered it's dying throes, a draw and replay looked on the cards with the scores locked at 1-08 to 0-11 points, but then Bryan Sheehan reinforced his reputation as a great dead ball kicker from distance as he stroked an admittedly breeze assisted 60 metre free between the posts for the winning score. Out of sorts Colm Cooper, well marshalled by former Kerry minor Killian Young of Renard, missed a last minute, very scoreable free to tie the game, and the celebrations kicked off just a moment later.

Brosnan and Cooper were well out of this game, and Crokes did not really learn much more from last year. After scoring the goal, they should have been able to kick on against a rattled South Kerry side, but the performances from Young, Brian Hickey, Ronan O'Connor, Ronan Hussey, Bryan Sheehan and Declan O'Sullivan lifted the champions to a famous third title in a row, meaning that another South Kerry man will attempt to follow in the Footsteps of Mick O'Connell and Declan O'Sullivan as the only South Kerry men to lift Sam.

On a final note, I hope that Maurice Fitzgerald's final action as a South Kerry player was not the collision with Denis yesterday. It would be a shame for the only man to ever win an All-Star before he played in Croke Park to bow out at this level in such a fashion. He may not be really fit for 60 minutes of top class club action any more, but his class means he is well worth his place, and the admission fee, as an impact sub. Best wishes to him.

AZOffaly

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Re: Kerry County Final
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2006, 07:12:42 PM »
As an aside, Liam Higgins of Kerry Football, and Radio Kerry fame passed away over the weekend, and it was very poignant, as this time last year he was in the commentary box describing the action between South Kerry and Dr. Crokes in the county final of 2005. A minutes silence was held in his honour before the game in Killarney. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

From Hogan Stand.

Nickey Brennan, President of the GAA, has expressed his deep sadness on learning of the death of Liam Higgins. Liam, from Lispole, near Dingle in Co. Kerry, won senior All Ireland football medals with Kerry in 1969 and 1970 and was a well known commentator on Gaelic games for Radio Kerry. Recently retired from teaching in Dingle CBS, Liam coached his Alma Mater to two All Ireland B Colleges titles - a remarkable achievement in terms of pupil ratio to other schools.

Nickey Brennan said that Liam Higgins was the embodiment of the Kerry footballer. Tall, athletic, skilful and brave, he was central to teams that included some of the iconic figures of Gaelic football, including Mick O’Connell, Mick O’Dwyer and Johnny Cullotty.

The President said that while Liam Higgins achieved the ultimate success at county level, his heart and spirit always remained with his local club, Lispole, who he played with for four decades. Liam was mainly instrumental in the development of the club’s facilities from scratch.

Danny Lynch, GAA PRO, said: "I knew Liam going to school. I played club football with him and against him. I was in contact with him throughout our lives. He was a great footballer, a great character and above all a loyal and great friend. I am very saddened to learn of his sad passing."

Nickey Brennan and Danny Lynch extended their sympathies to Liam‚s mother Nell and to his family.

Hardy

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Re: Kerry County Final
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2006, 07:22:42 PM »
You know when you always believed something but then you find out you must be wrong. Well I’ve always had it in my head that Liam Higgins was the same Liam who was a pro golfer and was holder of the world long drive record (set on an airport runway somewhere). I assumed he turned pro when he gave up football. But I googled there and there’s no mention of football in anything about the golfer and vice versa.

Was I wrong all the time?

Condolences to his family and friends.

youbetterbelieveit

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Re: Kerry County Final
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2006, 07:27:02 PM »
Have to hand it too you az, good synopsis of the county final.

AZOffaly

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Re: Kerry County Final
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2006, 07:36:46 PM »
Hardy, that Liam Higgins is from Waterville and is alive and well, as far as I know. His son David is flitting around some of the European and Nike Tour events.

Liam Higgins, the Kerry footballer, was from West Kerry. A different man entirely.

Kerry Mike

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Re: Kerry County Final
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2006, 07:41:11 PM »
RIP to Liam Higgins, the ex Kerry footballer from Dingle, he battled bravely through a long illness over the last few months and I saw him in hospital in Tralee a few months ago. He was on Radio Kerry with Weeshie for the last few years and was a very knowledgable person in all things Kerry football.

Hardy you have the wrong Liam Higgins, the golfer is from Waterville and is the father of David Higgins the current Irish professional.

Well done to South Kerry for the 3 in a row, just a pity Maurice Fitz's injury took some gloss off the win. It s a huge achievement but really shows the sttrength of South Kerry football over the last 5 years when numerous U21 and minor titles have paved the way.
I did not make it down either AZ was in Monaghan, but going by reports the last kick from Bryan Sheehan was just huge, 65m out near the sideline. Fitzy was shaken but was released from hospital later on last night. Hopefully like AZ says it will not be his final outing in the game.

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magickingdom

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Re: Kerry County Final
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2006, 08:15:04 PM »
have to say i was hoping crokes would do it this year. anyone who saw (crowd was about 10,000) bryan sheehan last point will never forget it, maurice himself would be proud of it. gouch had a chance to square it up but missed in the end. the whole day was saddened for me with the news of Liam Higgins passing, a well of knowledge of kerry football who has left a lasting legacy especially with all those he taught. RIP

PS the other Liam Higgins holds the course record for waterville gc if i remember right and david is currently in q school for the european tour...

MacDanger

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Re: Kerry County Final
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2006, 12:34:21 AM »
Quote
An intriguing aspect of this match is the continued perceived divide between the Crokes lads and the South Kerry lads on the Kerry panel. Gooch never went to South Kerry with Sam on the traditional march to the home captain's club. Gooch stayed in Killarney rather than hitting Dromid, and that has raised eyebrows down there.

Are ye feckers from Kerry starting the "there's divsions in the camp" rumours already in the month of November??!!! Cute Kerry hoooors...........

AZOffaly

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Re: Kerry County Final
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2006, 10:06:43 AM »
Quote
Are ye feckers from Kerry starting the "there's divsions in the camp" rumours already in the month of November??!!! Cute Kerry hoooors...........

Jaysus MacDanger, that's an awful slur you are casting on my character. I'm an Offaly man, who just happens to have married a cailin from that neck of the woods :)

The Claw

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Re: Kerry County Final
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2006, 11:24:16 AM »
It would be a shame for the only man to ever win an All-Star before he played in Croke Park to bow out at this level in such a fashion.

I am understanding this correctly, he didnt play in Croke Park and won an All-Star?Smething else.What year was this az?

blanketattack

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Re: Kerry County Final
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2006, 12:22:24 PM »
It would be a shame for the only man to ever win an All-Star before he played in Croke Park to bow out at this level in such a fashion.

Are you sure about that?

What about Mickey Kearns (Sligo) in 1971?

Onlooker

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Re: Kerry County Final
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2006, 12:36:56 PM »
I am sure that Mickey Kearns probably played Railway Cup football in Croke Park.

AZOffaly

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Re: Kerry County Final
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2006, 01:07:34 PM »
Maurice won his first All Star in 1988, when he was under 21. Cork were dominating munster at that time, as Kerry's lean period began. With the no qualifier system in place, I presume that's why he had never played there.

I must admit I thought there would be a few others who excelled in beaten provincial teams, and never got to Croker in the old days, but according to Weeshie Fogarty, Maurice Fitz is the only one.