The long running saga of whether Valentia Young Islanders would be able to field a team in this year’s County League has been resolved and the great news for the home club of former Kerry great Mick O’Connell is that Valentia Young Islanders will be able to field a senior team in 2021.
Negotiations had taken place to see whether it was possible for Valentia’s senior players to get permission to play with neighbouring clubs but no alternative club could be agreed on.
Valentia chairperson Deirdre Lyne confirmed to Kerry’s Eye this week that the club intends to field a team in Division 6 of the County Leagues providing they are granted permission by the Kerry County Board. “We have entered a team in Division 6 as we feel we have about 19 or 20 players available this year. We feel it’s important for some of the lads who missed out on minor football last year and would be eighteen this year to have some football. So there are four of five of that age cohort, who have committed for this year and with the leagues on during the summer, they should all be available. I am not sure how many of let’s say our veterans are playing on, but we are happy that we will be able to field a team. It is very important that we keep a senior team going on the island as long as possible even if down the road, like many other clubs in South Kerry, it may require combinations. We will probably be playing lots of B teams but in the current climate, we just want games and the lads want to get back training and playing again.”
Kerry recovered from a shaky first half, to blitz Down with a tour de force in the second half in this keenly-contested Allianz Hurling League Division 2A opening round game at Austin Stack Park.
Kerry trailed the visitors 0-11 to 0-9 at the interval and desperately needed some inspiration if they were to turn the tide. But after Down increased their lead on the restart with points from Paul Sheehan and Ronan Costello, to lead 0-13 to 0-9, it was looking anything but rosy for the Kingdom. Fintan O’Connor’s master switch at half-time in moving Shane Nolan up front and bringing Mikey Boyle out around the middle third, changed the course of the game as did the fact that Fionan O’Sullivan also started running at the Down defence from deep.
Kerry, with their experienced heads now raising their game, had Down on the back foot and after a miraculous triple save by Stephen Keith from Shane Nolan twice and Daniel Collins, Fionan O’Sullivan ended the drought with a point before the floodgates opened.
A desire to lose weight when she was in her 30s started a journey that led Tralee’s Mairead McMahon to compete for a place in the World Crossfit Games finals last weekend.
A growing sport since it was first held as a world event back in 2009, Crossfit is a multi-discipline sport based on functional fixed fitness using instruments you would commonly find in a gym. Strength & Conditioning, Weight, Dead and Olympic Lifting, Squats, Gymnastic movements like handstand pull-ups, handstand walks, pull-ups as well as the use of treadmills, rowing machines and bikes make up the different elements to Crossfit. A lot of gyms in Ireland are starting to get affiliated in the pursuit of the discipline.
Mairead recently finished in the top 10% in her age category of 45-49 allowing her the chance to perform another routine for the semi-finals last weekend in her own gym, Achieve Fitness, which she opened back in 2018 after going back to college to study Personal Fitness itself. In 2020, Mairead was ranked inside the Top 1000 in the world in her age category and ranked 7th in Ireland for her age category as well. She needed a Top 20 at the weekend to qualify for the finals of the next category next month.