Kerry Clubs Hoist Silverware At 27th Comórtas
Kerry teams brought home the silverware last weekend in the 27th PhoneWatch Comórtas Peile Páidí Ó Sé. The six competition tournament at junior, intermediate and senior level took place all over the Dingle Peninsula in wet and windy conditions and ranks as one of the biggest Gaelic football club gatherings in the world, attracting 36 international and Irish adult ladies and men’s Gaelic football clubs this year.
Pádraig Óg Ó Sé said, ‘We are thrilled with the enthusiasm of teams to be involved in our tournament and keep my father’s spirit alive. We simply could not do this without the co-operation from local clubs who provided us with their pitches and we want to sincerely thank them for that.”
Five teams competed in this year’s Comórtas from across the UK but one club, London’s Kingdom Kerry Gaels, is intrinsically linked with Kerry through the late Christy Kissane who passed away in late 2015. The travelling team had embroidered Christy RIP into their jerseys in memory of the GAA stalwart and they acquitted themselves well in the senior men’s competition.
Dingle claim senior men’s crown
The Dermot Earley Cup saw clubs from Louth, Limerick, Cork, Waterford, London and Kerry battle it out. Dingle showed intent right the way through with wins over Bishopstown (3-8 to 1-2) and Newcastle West (1-8 to 1-6) to reach the final. Kingdom Kerry Gaels overcame St. Mary’s of Ardee (0-8 to 1-4) and host club An Ghaeltacht (0-9 to 0-6) to set themselves up for a clash with the 2015 Kerry club championship winners.
Dingle, under manager Paul Fitzmaurice, started fresher in the final which was played in front of a decent crowd despite the windy and wet conditions in Gallarus, An Ghaeltacht’s home grounds. They ran ahead by five points to no score by half time with the aid of a big wind. Kingdom Kerry Gaels didn’t avail of the second half wind advantage and it looked like the weekend had caught up with the London visitors with two tough games on Saturday. The final score was an emphatic 0-9 to 0-1 victory to Dingle.
Visitors Raise Senior Ladies Cup
Southern Gaels got through to the senior ladies final having beaten Castleisland 4-17 to 1-2 in a straight semi-final with Linda Cronin the hero with three goals. Three teams competed in the other side of the draw with 2013 All Ireland intermediate club champions Claregalway beating locals Corca Dhuibhne 9-6 to 1-03. Confey of Kildare then beat the West Kerry side 5-13 to 0-2 before falling to Claregalway 1-11 to 1-0. Claregalway were a professionally run outfit from start to finish and brought a big panel on the trip to ensure freshness prevailed. In the final, Southern Gaels of South Kerry couldn’t manage Claregalway and Galway county star Megan Glynn at corner forward who amassed a personal tally of 4-2 and was later crowned player of the tournament. With over half the team playing at county level the Galway side proved far too strong winning out as eventual winners on a scoreline of 8-10 to 2-3.
The Intermediate men’s competition had six teams in a pool format. Anascaul got through to the final having overcome Listry 0-7 to 0-2. They then had plenty in the tank to beat St John’s of Sligo 4-9 to 1-5. On the other side Lispole comfortably beat Clanna Gael of Dublin 2-9 to 1 and Easkey Sea Blues of Sligo 1-10 to 1-5. So, the intermediate men’s final was an all Kerry affair with the West Kerry neighbours going head to head. Anascaul brought form into this weekend with victories over both Dingle and An Gaeltacht in the West Kerry league under new manager Ger Callaghan. But it was Lispole who had the ball in the net after 10 seconds from a speculative ball followed by a point a minute later. That proved decisive in the end as both teams were back and forth sharing points making it 1-7 to 0-7 at half time. Despite their best efforts, Anascaul could not bridge the gap with a goal and that remained the difference between the sides (1-12 to 0-12).
Mayo Ladies Bring Home Silverware
The Intermediate ladies cup was a four team competition with two Kerry sides falling away in the straight semi-finals. Cork Gaeltacht side Naomh Abán of Baile Bhuirne beat Beaufort 4-7 1-7 while Burrishoole of Mayo got over East Kerry side Firies in the other semi-final on a scoreline of 3-8 to 2-5. In the final, it was Burrishoole of Mayo who came through an evenly matched final 3-6 to Naomh Aban 3-5.
First Cup in Six Years For Castlegregory
The junior men’s six team pool format competition saw Rosenallis of Laois reach the final on points difference following a victory over Round Towers UK and a loss to Midleton of Cork. On other side of the pool Castlegregory comfortably beat Dulwich 2-9 UK to 0-1 before pushing past St Breckan’s of Lisdoonvarna 1-8 to 0-2.
Played in Pobalscoil Corca Dhuibhne’s new school pitch, the junior final gave West Kerry’s Castlegregory senior team a chance to win silverware, their first since the historic All-Ireland Junior club championship win back in 2010. It was a tight low scoring game for the first half where Rosenallis played with the wind slightly in their favour. The visitors took advantage with three points within 10 minutes to no reply before Castlegregory finally got a score when full forward Keelan Dowling rounded his man to score a goal followed by a point from Jason Griffin to leave it 1-1 to 0-4 at the break. The second half deteriorated as a spectacle with the Laois men’s energy levels dipping and they were not able to muster another score as Castlegregory tagged on 6 more points to win out on a scoreline of 1-7 to 0-4.
Dingle and Mitchels Battle In the junior ladies six team competition, Dingle overcame two Dublin sides Portobello (4-17 to 1-5) and Man O War (2-7 to 1-8) to reach the final while John Mitchel’s beat Lucan Sarsfields and Liverpool Ladies (1-8 to 1-3) to set up an all Kerry clash at Mercy Secondary School, Mounthawk in Tralee. Despite a rally of 1-1 in the final five minutes it was John Mitchels who came through by two points on a scoreline of Dingle 2-7 to John Mitchel’s 3-4.
Daragh Ó Sé launched The Revolutionary Years exhibition over the weekend, an exhibition of photographs and newspaper articles from the period 1913-22 which will be on display for two months at Páidí Ó Sé’s pub. Ó Sé commented “the Comórtas has always been about the craic and GAA camaraderie and it’s great to see teams and supporters from the UK and across Ireland coming to our part of the world and enjoy themselves. The Ó Sé’s are also grateful for the support of PhoneWatch and also Fáilte Ireland, sports club communications app Sportora, Lee Strand Milk and media partner Newstalk 106-108FM, without whom the weekend couldn’t go ahead”.