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Crokes are used to being the bad guys

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All-Ireland Senior Club Semi-Final
Dr Crokes v Mullinalaghta (Longford)
Saturday at 3.30pm
Semple Stadium, Thurles

Everybody loves an underdog and with a parish of just 450 people, you’d be hard-pressed to find a bigger (or smaller?) underdog than Mullinalaghta St Columba’s from County Longford.

Nicknamed ‘The Half Parish’, Mullinalaghta shocked the nation when they defeated Dublin kingpins Kilmacud in the Leinster final. Now their sights are firmly set on the other Crokes, Pat O’Shea’s Munster champions who are on the hunt for a second All-Ireland title in three years. On paper it’s an open and shut case but veteran defender Fionn Fitzgerald is wary of the threat that Saturday’s opponents could pose.

“They have really captured the imagination,” Fitzgerald said at the AIB All-Ireland semi-final media day. “Their run has taken on a life of its own. They’re a bit like the Slaughtneil story, but they’ve also been knocking on the door for a while.

“They’ve won Longford three times and been in Leinster where they gave St Vincent’s a rattle, but beating a Dublin team was the thing because Dublin have been so successful. They also beat Rhode and Éire Óg so they have form.

“They’re from a small area but they have been genuine kingpins in their county, and I was always tracking them.”

Crokes are overwhelming favourites with the bookies but Fitzgerald knows that victory in Thurles isn’t a foregone conclusion.

“All-Ireland semi-finals are always very close and we lost three of them before we finally won one. We didn’t perform and the opposition did, and they were the better teams on the day.

“There are no favourites in this one, I don’t buy that tag. You trust the work you have done and hope it’s good enough on the day.”

Many neutrals will be cheering on the minnows this weekend but that won’t bother the Crokes; they’re well used to playing the bad guys by this stage. The Killarney club are eager to cap a flawless 2018/19 campaign which has seen them crowned club, county, league, Munster and O’Donoghue Cup champions. All things being equal you would expect them to win with plenty to spare.

In light of Kilcummin and Beaufort’s recent triumphs, victory for the Lewis Road club would set up a unique treble as no county has ever produced the winners of the Junior, Intermediate and Senior Club Championships in the same year.

In the other semi, Corofin (Galway) play Gaoth Dobhair (Donegal) in Carrick-on-Shannon. That match is also on Saturday with an earlier throw-in time of 1.30pm. Both games will be broadcast live on TG4 with coverage starting at 1pm.

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Are you getting enough sleep?

By Angela Kerrisk from Activate Fitness We have all heard the phrase “routine is the killer” however for many of us who, on a daily basis, stretch ourselves thin wearing a variety of different hats, simply creating a specific and sustainable routine will separate the successful and organised from the stressed and overwhelmed. Incorporating a […]

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By Angela Kerrisk from Activate Fitness

We have all heard the phrase “routine is the killer” however for many of us who, on a daily basis, stretch ourselves thin wearing a variety of different hats, simply creating a specific and sustainable routine will separate the successful and organised from the stressed and overwhelmed.

Incorporating a routine helps to bring direction and structure, and as Craig Ballantyne so wonderfully put it in his book ‘The Perfect Day’; “Structure = Freedom”.

In our childhood, we became accustomed to a bedtime routine. In fact, those of us who are parents go to great lengths to create this routine for our own children, knowing the benefits it brings. However, as we moved into adulthood, that same routine was thrown out the window by the demanding world of school and full-time work.

Sleep and health are locked together. When we improve our sleep, we have better energy, mood, and recover easier from exercise. When we sleep better it helps us to make better nutrition choices because sleep regulates our hormones. Yet it’s one of the first things we sacrifice in order to get through our full to-do list. Whatever these or our end goal is, jeopardising our health seems to be counterproductive and also just a little crazy! Why is it that as adults we stray so far away from one of the very foundational rituals that can keep us feeling grounded?

So how much sleep do you need? About six to eight hours is good but the exact number depends on the person. No matter who you are, you’ll feel worn out if you don’t get enough.

Here are some suggestions to help you achieve greater balance and a sound night’s sleep:

Limit caffeine:

It takes a long time for caffeine to get out of your system, so avoid it late in the day. Typically, have your last caffeinated drink 10 hours before your bedtime.

Be active:

Physical activity reduces stress and improves sleep. One exception is not to do a hard workout right before bed as it might be tough to wind down for a while afterwards.

Unwind early:

Turn off screens well before bedtime. Bright screens can mess with your body’s sleep mechanisms, so turn off TV’s, tablets and smartphones earlier in the evening. Take the dog out, brush your teeth, get into your pyjamas, and get into bed before the time you want to be asleep.

Brain dump for the next day:

Spend 5-10 minutes each night writing a list of to-do items to ensure you hit the pillow feeling organised and in control.

Set out your clothes the evening before:

This small task can save you a lot of last-minute rushing. Take the extra five minutes now when you have it.

Cool, dark and quiet:

When it comes to sleep, you want it cool, dark and quiet. Adjust the temperature or get a fan going, hang some blackout curtains and try to reduce any noise near your bedroom.

Buy an alarm clock:

This will help you to avoid being distracted by notifications should you wake and check the time in the middle of the night. Set an alarm right now for tonight. When it goes off, start your evening routine so you get into bed on time for a good night’s sleep!

Here at Activate, we promote and encourage balance to ensure we are living a happy and healthy life. Sleep is one very essential and key component of this. We hope these tips help you get some much-needed rest! When you combine great sleep with sound nutrition and solid training, you’ll feel amazing and make more progress toward your goals.

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Kerry Stars “pursuing dream to build own sports centre”

By Sean Moriarty Kerry Special Olympics Club is still pursuing its dream to build a sports centre in Derreen, a senior club official has confirmed to the Killarney Advertiser. The club has identified a site, with support from Kerry County Council, between the existing Killarney Legion and Killarney Celtic sports grounds. However, the project remains […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Kerry Special Olympics Club is still pursuing its dream to build a sports centre in Derreen, a senior club official has confirmed to the Killarney Advertiser.

The club has identified a site, with support from Kerry County Council, between the existing Killarney Legion and Killarney Celtic sports grounds.

However, the project remains on the long finger as the club has been concentrating on the safety of its members throughout the pandemic.

The delay prompted Cllr Donal Grady to ask Kerry County Council if it had any plans to build houses on the site.

Mr Grady asked the question in the context of making sure the land did not go to waste and not in opposition to any plans by Kerry Stars.

“The site referred to was originally identified as a potential site for development as a specific sports facility. That project has not materialised,” a Council official said.

“Kerry Stars had been in contact with Kerry County Council regarding use of the site, and it was expected that further communication would be received from them in the very short-term. As yet, Kerry County Council is awaiting further communication and will liaise directly with the Kerry Stars group before we can give consideration to use of the lands under the ‘Housing for All’ housing plan.”

However, Kerry Stars chairman John Spillane said they still “have every intention of pursuing our dream of have our own sports centre”.

“The location makes perfect sense, it is the sports hub of Killarney and all the clubs there could help and learn from each other.”

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