John Kerins Tournament: Underage football feast celebrates a Cork and Barrs legend

After a two-year break, the popular event is back in Togher for U11 footballers 
John Kerins Tournament: Underage football feast celebrates a Cork and Barrs legend

Players representing their clubs at the launch of the John Kerins memorial tournament at St Finbarr's GAA Club. Also included are John Kerins, Sgt Mick O'Connell, Liam Linehan, JLO and Garda Trish O'Riordan. Picture: David Keane

THE finals of the John Kerins Tournament take place on Saturday next, June 11, at Páirc Uí Rinn, starting at 10am.

After a two-year absence, postponed since 2019 like many events due to the pandemic all involved are delighted to see it return.

Now in its 17th year, this U11 football tournament is run by the gardaí in memory of their colleague and former Cork and St Finbarr’s goalkeeper John Kerins, who passed away at a young age. John kept goal for St Finbarr’s for many years and also won two senior All-Ireland football medals with Cork in 1989 and 1990. 

 Front Rachel O'Sullivan, John and Suzanne Kerins and Sgt Stephen O'Shea along with, back from left, Paul and Norma Kerins, Breda O'Sullivan, Garda John O'Driscoll, Humphrey Kerins and Garda Tony Harnett. Picture: David Keane
Front Rachel O'Sullivan, John and Suzanne Kerins and Sgt Stephen O'Shea along with, back from left, Paul and Norma Kerins, Breda O'Sullivan, Garda John O'Driscoll, Humphrey Kerins and Garda Tony Harnett. Picture: David Keane

He was also a Cork minor selector for a number of years and his dedication to the game was second to none. Several years ago members of the gardaí decided to hold an annual U11 football tournament to honour his memory. This year’s tournament was officially launched at St Finbarr’s Hurling and Football Club, Togher.

The tournament took place in two stages over the last few months. First, there were the group stages at several clubs around the city and county, and from that teams are now through to the quarter-finals of the cup and the semi-finals of the shield.

One of the organisers Supt Mick Comyns, said they were looking forward to another great day’s football.

“This tournament is now very popular among clubs and we would like to thank all sides who entered again this year,” said Mick, “After a two-year absence due to the pandemic we are delighted the tournament is back and I would like to wish all sides the best of luck for the day and I know we will see some great football played on Saturday. 

John Kerins, Garda Tony Harnett, Sgt Mick O'Connell, Garda Trish O'Riordan, Sgt Stephen O'Shea, Garda John O'Driscoll and Liam Linehan, JLO, at the launch. Picture: David Keane
John Kerins, Garda Tony Harnett, Sgt Mick O'Connell, Garda Trish O'Riordan, Sgt Stephen O'Shea, Garda John O'Driscoll and Liam Linehan, JLO, at the launch. Picture: David Keane

“I would also like to thank all those who help organise the tournament and in particular, Sgt Michael O’Connell, Trish O’Riordan, John O’Driscoll, Tony Hartnett, Stephen O’Shea, and Liam Linehan, amongst others, for all the work they do to ensure everything runs smoothly. 

“Also our sponsors are vital and we would like to thank Stewart Philpott of St Paul’s Credit Union for their support and The Echo for their coverage of the games. Also to Rebel Óg for their co-operation in organising the games,” concluded Mick.

FIXTURES

In the cup competition are Valley Rovers, St Michael’s, St Nicholas, Glenville, Bishopstown, Éire Óg, Erin’s Own and Carrigaline, whilst in the shield tournament are Passage, Brian Dillons, Blarney and Crosshaven.

Up first are the cup quarter-finals, with Valley Rovers and St Michael’s getting proceedings underway at 10am. This will be followed by St Nicholas against Glenville, Bishopstown v Éire g and Erin’s Own v Carrigaline.

They will be followed by the Shield semi-finals as Passage take on Brian Dillon;s and Blarney face Crosshaven at 12.30pm.

The cup semi-finals are scheduled for 1 and 1.30pm, with the Shield final at 2pm. The cup final is due to take place at 2.45pm, but this event can run slightly behind time.

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