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Kerry FC charity game V Killarney Celtic

Kerry FC and Killarney Celtic team up to raise vital funds for Comfort for Chemo Kerry

Charity Friendly in Aid of Comfort for Chemo Kerry in Memory of John Doyle, ‘Doyler’

Killarney Celtic 0-1 Kerry Fc

On Wednesday evening, Kerry FC had an addition to their schedule with a Charity fundraiser game against Killarney side, Killarney Celtic in Celtic Park, Direen.

The event was in aid of comfort for chemo. The organisation that hopes to build a new chemotherapy unit in Kerry, which will save patients needing to travel around the country for something they should be able to have the comfort of doing in their own county.

The event also marked the tenth anniversary of John Doyle “Doyler” the former Killarney Celtic player and a man widely regarded as one of the greatest players to play the game in the Kingdom. Doyle who has a stand named after him in Direen passed away ten years ago following a hard-fought battle with serious illness. He was a man widely respected in Killarney and someone who was everyone’s friend in the words of Niall “Botty” O’Callaghan.

The event had it all, jerseys signed by David and Paudie Clifford, Colm “the Gooch” Cooper, Ireland captain John Egan, All-Ireland hurling champions Limerick, T.J Reid, and the Leinster rugby team that were to be auctioned to the highest bidders with all proceeds again going to Comfort for Chemo. And of course, a highly competitive game between domestic titans Killarney Celtic and League of Ireland newcomers Kerry FC after they won last Friday in the first round of the Sports Direct FAI Cup.

First Half
The first chance of the night came in the ninth minute when Kennedy Amechi, caught a hold of a loose Killarney Celtic pass. His effort was tame and was pushed away to safety by Celtic keeper David Spillane. It was quite even for the most part of the opening exchanges with very few chances for either side. The first threat from a Celtic perspective came in the twenty seventh when former Kerry man Steven McCarthy had a free kick from twenty-two yards out rattle the left-hand post.

As the half progressed, the soccer on display got better and better. Kennedy Amechi played a great half and so did Celtic winger Witness. Even for a friendly game, it was certainly aggressive and both sides worked hard for their chances. Kerry had a bit of a scare halfway through the first half as the returning Sean Kennedy went off with a suspected injury which may have put his recovery time back. We will wait to see the effects of that later in the week.

Killarney Celtic finished the half strong with a couple of chances. The first of which was a half volley from Witness just outside the box that was saved well by a trialist in the Kerry net. The second was a goal line scramble that was eventually dealt with by the Kerry defence. Kerry nearly led at the break when a great free kick whipped in from Graham O’Reilly was placed directly on the head of Kennedy Amechi but was saved superbly by David Spillane, the follow up was nearly put away but the linesman had his flag up for offside which concluded the first half.

Second Half
Kerry started quick in the second half. They broke the deadlock ten minutes into the restart through a long-range strike from Togor Silong that was struck with too much conviction for Spillane to keep out on this occasion. Celtic had an uphill battle ahead but were playing more than well enough to get back into the game.

Celtic nearly hit back through another free kick, this time from Dylan O’Callaghan but the trialist goalkeeper parried it away with ease. Celtic made subs to freshen the legs on the pitch. Terry Sparling, Adam McMahon, and Liam Spillane helped keep the home side in the game through good defending and great forward runs. Centre half Padraic Looney, played a commanding role and led the defence also in a very solid way. As the second half went on, Kerry played the ball around well and tried to open gaps for chances but Celtic kept strong and firm in defence.

Kerry players such as Cianan Cooney, Graham O’Reilly, Togor Silong, and Kennedy Amechi played fantastic on that night and led by example for a fresh-faced Kerry FC eleven. The game finished 1-0 to Kerry who picked up the win but the event around the game was what was most important on the night. A fantastic turnout with thousands made for such a great cause. A huge congratulations to Killarney Celtic for a fantastic evening and people involved in auctioning off the jersey’s, especially Niall “Botty” O’Callaghan, Karl McMahon, and Tim Jones.

Kerry are back at home in League of Ireland action on Friday evening as they face Finn Harps for their third meeting of the season.

Goalscorer: Togor Silong ‘49

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