Winter progress pleases Kingdom’s new boss
By Diarmuid O’Flynn for the Irish Examiner newspaper
Kerry 3-17 Limerick 1-11
Grinding their way gradually up through the gears, that’s this new-look Kerry team under new manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice. Yesterday’s McGrath Cup semi-final over Limerick marks three successive wins in three successive weeks, albeit all on home turf in Killarney, the opposition becoming more testing in every game. First it was IT Tralee, then UCC, yesterday it was their first inter-county opposition of this competitive year, all dismissed with equal aplomb by a Kerry team featuring a plethora of new faces. It all combines to make Fitzmaurice a very happy man.
“The real value of the McGrath Cup is that they’re getting a sustained run which is good for the likes of Jack (Sherwood) at centre-back as that helps his development and his confidence, just getting used to the lads around him. ” We’re very happy with the way they’re progressing so we’ll keep at it. The idea of the McGrath Cup was to look at the younger players and give them a few games which would strengthen our hand and strengthen our panel. “We’ve definitely accomplished that and we have a game again next week (McGrath Cup final against Tipperary) and that’s great for us. I don’t know exactly how many players we’ve used over the past number of weeks but it’s certainly in the high 20s so that’s great, considering there are a lot of absentees at the moment.”
Marc Ó Sé and Aidan O’Mahony were picked to play yesterday but neither started (Aidan came on as a late sub, as did Tomas Ó Sé), though yet another of the veterans, midfielder Bryan Sheehan, did make an earlier than expected return. “Aidan is a bit asthmatic, had a bit of a reaction yesterday so we didn’t start him; Marc had a hamstring problem all week and we decided not to risk him when the day was so cold. We hadn’t expected to see Bryan for a good bit longer to be honest but he trained very hard on his own with Paudie Corcoran, who works with the injured players in the background. Paudie, the physios and the medical team did great work with Bryan, so we were able to give him a run-out today.”
Some run-out. With Sheehan and Anthony Maher dominating midfield, a strong five minutes before half-time during which they scored 2-1 helped Kerry to a two-goal half-time lead (2-7 to 0-7), even while playing into a stiff breeze. The dashing Darren O’Sullivan had the first major, his blistering pace taking him in on goal while James O’Donoghue had the second with a superb finish after snapping up a breaking ball. Given that they themselves were also fielding an experimental side, it left Limerick with a small mountain to climb. “We were caught in a Catch 22 situation,” explained unhappy manager Maurice Horan: “We had to rest our experienced guys, the likes of Pa Ranahan, Stephen Lavin, Mark Riordan, Eoghan O’Connor, Stephen Kelly, and Ger Collins. If the game was next week they would all be available to us but we just cannot jeopardise the league.
“We’re on the back of two injury-ravaged league campaigns so we want to try and keep all our main players as injury-free as possible. The two goals before half-time were killers, particularly the second goal but the biggest problem for me today wasn’t the loss, it was the three lapses in concentration in the second-half after we had come back to within three points — suddenly it was an eight-point gap again.” Limerick did start the second half well, a fine goal by youngster Darragh Treacy then a pointed Ian Ryan free bringing them with a single score (2-7 to 1-7). Then came those concentration lapses by Limerick and in a 12-minute purple patch Kerry scored 1-8 without reply — O’Donoghue getting his second and Kerry’s third goal. Sets the Kingdom up nicely for the final next week, albeit in Tipperary, but also strengthens Eamonn Fitzmaurice’s hand with the league opener against Mayo just a week later.
Scorers for Kerry: J O’Donoghue 2-5 (5f); D O’Sullivan 1-1; M Geaney 0-3; BJ Keane 0-3; B Sheehan 0-2 (2f); M O’Donoghue 0-2; P Curtin 0-1.
Scorers for Limerick: I Ryan 0-6 (5f); D Treacy 1-0; D O’Connor, D Neville, J Riordan, J O’Meara, L O’Dwyer, 0-1 each.
KERRY: B Kelly; F Fitzgerald (c), M Moloney, D Culhane; J Lyne, J Sherwood, K Young; A Maher, B Sheehan; M Geaney, D O’Sullivan, M O’Donoghue; J O’Donoghue, P Curtin, BJ Keane.
Subs: K O’Leary (O’Sullivan inj. 53); T Ó Sé (Sheehan 54); A O’Mahony (Moloney 61); B Looney (J O’Donoghue 61); A Garnett (Maher 61).
LIMERICK: B Scanlon; C Cody, J McCarthy, P Browne; L O’Dwyer, M Sheehan, J Riordan; T Lee, B O’Brien; J O’Meara, D Treacy, D O’Connor; D Neville, S O’Carroll, I Ryan.
Subs: M O’Keeffe (Sheehan 33); P Kinnerk (O’Brien 54); S Sheehan (Neville 65); D O’Dea (Lee 67); B McCarthy (O’Meara 69).
Referee: C Lane (Cork)
The Kerry Senior Football Team to play Limerick in the Munster GAA McGrath Cup Semi Final in Fitzgerald Stadium on Sunday shows 5 changes from the side that saw action in the Quarter Finals on Sunday last. Brian Kelly comes into goal in place of Brendan Kealy, Aidan O’Mahony takes over at full back from Michael Moloney, there is a new midfield partnership in Anthony Maher and Bryan Sheehan who replace Johnny Buckley and Kieran Donaghy and the one change up front sees James O’Donoghue replace Kieran O’Leary.
The team captained by Fionn Fitzgerald is as follows:
1. Brian Kelly Killarney Legion
2. Marc Ó Sé An Gaeltacht
3. Aidan O’Mahony Rathmore
4. Fionn Fitzgerald Dr Crokes (Captain)
5. Jonathan Lyne Killarney Legion
6. Jack Sherwood Firies
7. Killian Young Renard
8. Anthony Maher Duagh
9. Bryan Sheehan St Marys
10. Michael Geaney Dingle
11. Darran O’Sullivan Glenbeigh/Glencar
12. Michael O’Donoghue Spa
13. James O’Donoghue Killarney Legion
14. Patrick Curtin Moyvane
15. Paul Geaney Dingle
16. Brendan Kealy Kilcummin
17. Tomás Ó Sé An Gaeltacht
18. Kieran O’Leary Dr Crokes
19. Michael Moloney Dr Crokes
20. Barry John Keane Kerins O’Rahillys
21. David Culhane Ballylongford
22. Andrew Garnett Spa
23. Brian Looney Dr Crokes
24. Shane Enright Tarbert
Manager: Eamonn Fitzmaurice; Trainer/Selector: Cian O’Neill; Selectors: Diarmuid Murphy, Mikey Sheehy
The Limerick Senior Football team to play Kerry is as follows –
1 Brian Scanlan, Gerald Griffin’s.
2 Cian Coady Na Piarsaigh.
3 Johnny McCarthy St. Kieran’s.
4 Michael Sheehan Fr. Casey’s.
5 Stephen Lavin Adare.
6 Paudie Browne Fr. Casey’s.
7 Pa Ranahan Ballysteen.
8 Thomas Lee Ballylanders.
9 Bobby O’Brien Bruff.
10 John Riordan Fr. Casey’s.
11 Darragh Treacy St. Kieran’s
12 Seamus O’Carroll Cappagh Kilcornan.
13 Eoghan O’Connor St. Mary’s/Sean Finns.
14 Derry O’Connor Fr. Casey’s.
15 Ian Ryan St.Senan’s.
For the Record
|2012 McGrath Cup Performance||Did not take part||Lost to UCC by 1-19 to 0-10 in the Quarter-Final|
|Number of McGrath Cup Senior Football titles||3||5|
|Last McGrath Cup Senior Football Title||2011||2005|
|McGrath Cup Senior Football Record since 2000||Played – 15
Won – 13
Lost – 2
Drawn – 0
|Played – 26
Won – 16
Lost – 10
Drawn – 0
|Last meeting in the McGrath Cup||1999 First Round – January 23rd at Abbeyfeale
Limerick 1-6 Kerry 0-5
Fixtures and Results
Saturday January 5th
@ Fitzgerald Stadium Killarney Kerry 4-22 IT Tralee 0-10
Sunday January 6th
@ Miltown-Malbay Clare 1-19 LIT 1-2
@ Cork IT GAA Grounds Cork 1-15 CIT 0-10
Sunday January 13th
@ Foynes Limerick 2-16 Clare 2-13 (after extra time)
@ Fitzgerald Stadium Killarney Kerry 2-12 UCC 0-10
@ Pairc Ui Rinn Tipperary 2-9 Cork 1-9
@ WIT GAA Grounds Carriganore Waterford 0-16 University of Limerick 0-12 (after extra time)
Semi-Finals (Extra time)
Sunday January 20th
@ Fitzgerald Stadium Killarney Kerry v Limerick @ 2:00pm
@ Sean Treacy Park Tipperary Town Tipperary v Waterford @ 2:00pm
Final (Extra time)
Sunday January 27th
Kerry or Limerick v Tipperary or Waterford
@ Tipperary venue Kerry v Tipperary (last meeting – 2010 S-Final in Killarney)
@ Limerick venue Limerick v Tipperary (last meeting – 2007 Q-Final in Cahir)
@ Waterford venue Kerry v Waterford (last meeting – 2010 Q-Final in Killarney)
@ Limerick venue Limerick v Waterford (last meeting – 2004 S-Final in Ardmore)
McGrath Cup Senior Football – Odds and Ends
Since 2000, Kerry have won 13 of their 15 matches (a 87% success rate – best of any county). In the same period, Cork’s McGrath Cup success rate is 85% with 17 wins out of 20 in the competition.
In the 7 games to date in the 2013 McGrath Cup, there has been an average of 2.3 goals per game. This compares with 2.4 goals per match in 2012 and 1.4 goals per match in 2011.
The record of the Third Level Colleges in the McGrath Cup since entering in 2005 is Won 21, Lost 49 (30% success rate). None of the six colleges have a winning record in the competition during that period. UCC have the best record, winning 7 of their 16 matches (44% success rate) while UL have won 5 of their 13 matches (38% success rate).
Since 2011, the record of Third Level Colleges when playing an Inter-County team in the McGrath Cup is Won 2, Lost 16 (11% success rate)
Kerry have not lost a match in the McGrath Cup since the 2006 final where the Kingdom lost to Cork by 1-9 to 0-6 at Pairc Ui Rinn.
Limerick footballers have won 2 of their last 7 matches in the McGrath Cup. Waterford have won 2 of their last 6 matches.
Tipperary is the only team to have won at least 1 match in the last 4 years of the McGrath Cup with a 70% record during that period, Won 7 Lost 3.
McGrath Cup Senior Football Roll Of Honour
Clare (12) – 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2008
Cork (6) – 1998, 1999, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Limerick (5) – 1985, 1987, 2001, 2004, 2005
Tipperary (3) – 1989, 1993, 2003
Kerry (3) – 1996, 2010, 2011
Waterford (1) – 1981
London (1) – 1988
Visit the Munster GAA web site History section to view the complete Roll of Honour since the competition began in 1981 – http://munster.gaa.ie/history/mcgrath-cup-football/
Presented by Joe McGrath on June 21st, 1981 for the promotion of Senior Football in Munster
McGrath Cup – 2013 Scorers
|Patrick Curtin (Kerry) 3-7
Paul Geaney (Kerry) 2-7 (0-2 frees)
Conor Cox (UCC) 0-6 (0-3 frees)
Johnny Buckley (Kerry) 0-5
Gary Hurney (Waterford) 0-5 (0-1 free)
Gary Brennan (Clare) 1-1
Colm O’Neill (Cork) 0-4 (0-2 frees, 0-1 45)
Donal Óg Hodnett (CIT) 0-4 (0-3 frees)
Paul O’Connor (Kerry) 0-3 (0-1 free)
Brian Looney (Kerry) 0-3 (0-1 45)
Alan O’Donoghue (IT Tralee) 0-3 (0-3 frees)
|Darran O’Sullivan (Kerry) 0-2 (0-1 free)
Derry O’Connor (Limerick) 0-2
S Carroll (IT Tralee) 0-2 (0-1 free)
Paul Kerrigan (Cork) 0-2
Pearse O’Neill (Cork) 0-2
Enda Coughlan (Clare) 0-2
Brian O’Regan (CIT) 0-2