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Kerry Hurling Review 2015 2015-12-20 22:15:00

Hurling Report 2015

It was a silver year for Kerry hurling winning Christy Ring cup back to back Div 2A league titles, gaining promotion to Div 1B along with the minors completing 4 titles in a row.

Senior Team
The senior team got back into training in early January with one change to the management former Tipperary captain Conor Gleeson replacing Brian Horgan as team coach. The main focus was to deliver a Christy Ring title. A lot of preparation was put in before the first round of the league. Opening with a home game to Derry we did just enough to share the points. This was followed by an away victory over Wicklow and a home game with Westmeath in Tralee when we were defeated comprehensively. A trip to Carlow the following week it was a priority to get back on winning ways. After a high scoring game and a top class performance we come out winners by one point. Victory against London at home set us up with a league final against Westmeath at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. This was a big challenge for us but we were well prepared and after a blitz of early goals we had Westmeath in big trouble. We had captured back to back titles. It was some performance some victory. Yet this victory was not enough to give us promotion to Div 1B. The stakes were high with a promotion /relegation game with Antrim at Parnell Park in Dublin. Antrim took the game to us but with a top class performance we won the game. We got our reward for the hard work that was put in with achieving Division 1B status. The joy in that dressing room was electric. With the Christy Ring cup next on the agenda we had wins over Down and Meath at home, to set up a meeting with Kildare in the semi final in Newbridge. The pain of losing the final in 2014 was still hurting and a huge performance was delivered. Kildare could not live with us after a comprehensive victory we were back in the final for the third year in a row with Derry our opposition. This team were not going to be beaten a big performance landed us our second Ring title. This finished the senior’s year with silverware, I would like to thank Eamon Kelly manager Conor Gleeson coach selectors D J Leahy Tom O Connell and fitness coach Damien Ryall and also Brendan Cummins and the backroom team for their hard work and dedication and the team for a big commitment. What a year.

Minor Team

Kerry minor hurlers had a very busy year taking part in no less than four competitions with the focus on completing four in a row All Ireland minor B titles. They took part in the Todd Nolan Munster development tournament, the Cork premier league and the Leinster league. Taking part in these competitions gave the management the chance to look at a lot of young emerging talent and to pick a panel for the All Ireland series. Victories over Kildare and Down set a final meeting with a much fancied Roscommon side at the Gaelic grounds in Limerick. Kerry certainly proved much too strong a team for the opposition and went on to have a comprehensive win. This All Ireland competition has lost its appeal and the GAA are currently looking at replacing it with an U17 competition. It will be phased it out by 2017. Certainly a change is needed for Kerry. They need to be in another division for more meaningful games. I would like to thank manager Ian Brick selectors Adian O’Mahony Stephen Goggin, Jonathan Silles and back room team of Trudy and Stephanie for their dedication and commitment. Well done to all on a successful year.

U21 Team

This was a year with high hopes of winning this competition as the new cup was in the honour of a former Kerry and Lixnaw hurler the late Richie McElligott. Preparation for this competition was not ideal as players were training with their clubs for county championship and were not released to the management. A quarter final game with the Royal County, Meath in Trim was a very competitive affair with Kerry holding a slender lead with seconds left, when a last challenge by Meath resulted in a late goal to give the royals victory on the day. It was disappointing from a Kerry perspective as we had nine players from the Senior panel, I would like to thank the management of manager Joe Walsh and selectors John Lucid D J Leahy and Michael Conway for their time and commitment

Underage Teams
Under14. They played in the Sonny Walsh tournament in Waterford and acquitted themselves very well. They defeated Limerick lost to Cork and were very unlucky to lose to Waterford. Their preparation was excellent. Well done to the Manager John Lenihan, to Maurice Leahy the co-ordinator and the management team Mark Ryall and Damian Ryall trainer.
Under 15. The under 15 team played in the Gary Scollard tournament and were beaten in the final by Limerick. They played the under 15B Munster hurling tournament at Clarecastle. They played Tipperary and Cork losing both games. Thanks to all involved, team manager, co-ordinator David O’Dea and management team Paul Donoghue and Philip Lucid.
Under 16. The under 16 team won out the Munster U16 Divisional B competition. They drew with East Cork in round 1 and went on to defeat Mid Clare decisively in round 2. They then defeated South Tipperary in the final. They also had a very fine run in the Cork premier league. Well done to the players and management. I would like to thank team manager John Hennessy, his selectors John Healy and Jerome O’Sullivan and team co-ordinator Emanon Fitzgerald for their input.
In summary it was successful year for all inter- county teams – well done to all managements for their commitment.
Development Squads
Work continues with our development squads at the moment on their strength and conditioning programmes under fitness coach Damien Ryall.

Post primary School coaching
Coaching is now being carried out in schools in the Tralee areas by Kerry senior player Colm Harty and also in Causeway. Hurling in Tralee C.B.S. has come on in leaps and bounds and they have put in great performances with teacher Mark Ryall. Tadhg O Sullivan is also doing great work in Mounthawk School.

Tralee Parnell’s
Work continues by Parnell’s and they are becoming very competitive in their grades. Players from their club are gradually making progress on to county development squads.

Killarney hurling
Hurling coaching in the Killarney area is going ahead under G.D.A David O’Dea who coaches in the schools weekly. Great work continues to go on at Dr Crokes at both juvenile and adult level. Great credit for this is down to John Lenihan and I want to thank him for his hard work and dedication. Hurling coaching is also progressing in clubs like Legion, Kilcummin and Firies and I thank those involved. Hurling is being promoted in Rathmore and I would like to thank Eoin Casey for the fine work he is doing.

Maurice Leahy and David O’Dea continue their coaching and promotion in the schools Maurice in north Kerry and David in South Kerry putting on regular schools blitzes and skills competitions. I take this opportunity to thank you both for your work.

I would like to congratulate John Egan, Shane Nolan, Keith Carmody and Pa Kelly on being chosen on the Christy Ring champion fifteen and to Keith Carmody for being chosen as player of the year.

Irish Shinty team
Congratulation to Shane Nolan, Bryan Murphy and Pa Kelly on winning international medals playing for Ireland on the senior team, and also to Philip Lucid and Keith Carmody on winning U21 international medals playing for Ireland. This was a great achievement for Kerry players and to finish off a remarkable year congrats lads.

I wish the best of luck Ciaran Carey who takes over as senior manager and Mark Foley as hurling coach along with selectors James McCarthy Kilmoyley, Michael Conway Lixnaw and physical trainer Damian Ryall.

This event was ran off on Ballyheigue Mountain on June Bank Holiday week end in glorious sunshine with a large amount of competitors taking part. The senior class was won by county senior star Shane Nolan, senior camogie by Patrice Diggins, U16 camogie by Emma Lawlor and U16 boys by Barry O’Mahony. All winners went on to represent the county in the Munster final on the Galtee mountains. Congratulations to Barry O’Mahony on winning the U16 class and going on to the Cooley mountains for the All Ireland series. This was a great experience for this future star. Well done Barry.

Plans for 2016
• Continue to support the promotion of hurling in the county.
• To encourage new mentors to get involved with development squads.
• To encourage all clubs to full fill fixtures.
• To identify new talent around the county.
• To train new coaches.

As 2015 was my third year as hurling officer it was a very busy and successful year.
2016 will be a very challenging year competing in division 1B of the league and playing in the Leinster championship.

I would like to thank all the clubs who made their grounds available all the year for matches and for county championship games. I would like to thank the North Kerry Board for their continuing sponsorship of the POC FADA and their co-operation during the year. I wish to congratulate them on the publication of their history. I wish to thank Tommy O Connor for his great work as assistant hurling P.R.O.

To the ladies in the office Kate, Aileen and Breda for your continuing support thank you. I would also like to thank the grounds men Moss and Vincent for their help.

I also wish to thank the hurling steering group for their help and support and to John Lucid hurling steering group secretary who gave me great support all through the year and played a big part in the success of 2015 and promotion of hurling in the county thank you John, Finally I would to thank my fellow officers for their help advice and support all year thank you.

Yours in sport,
Ger McCarthy
Hurling officer / Chairman hurling steering group.