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Crokes bounce back to set up Legion showdown

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It’s the draw that has the whole town talking: reigning champions Dr Crokes will face neighbours the Killarney Legion in the quarter-final of the Kerry Senior Football Championship. The game will be played at 2pm next Sunday, September 30 in the Fitzgerald Stadium and will form part of a double-header with the equally-tantalising East Kerry versus South Kerry clash, which throws in at 3.45pm.

Crokes suffered a shock defeat to Kerins O’Rahilly’s a fortnight ago but any doubts about their form were firmly put to bed on Sunday as they demolished An Ghaeltacht by 3-28 to 2-15 in the Park. It was a solid team performance by Pat O’Shea’s side but corner forward Tony Brosnan, who was making his return from a nasty wrist injury, was the undoubted star of the show. Brosnan kicked 1-14 (1-10 from play) in a memorable display and his tally is made all the more remarkable when you consider that he didn’t kick a single wide. Actually, he did miss one shot: he went for goal in the second half and whistled just over the bar.

He also set up Crokes’ other two goals, both of which were expertly finished by veteran marksman Kieran O’Leary. The first assist was a raking 40-yard pass, the second was more like a spot of volleyball than football, but both were superbly executed and on this form Brosnan is one of the most dangerous attackers in the county.

It was no coincidence that Crokes’ “dip” coincided with the absence of Brosnan and influential half-back Gavin White. Both were back in from the start against An Ghaeltacht and Crokes looked far more assured as a result.

The men from the west capitalised on a sloppy Crokes start to lead 1-2 to 0-3 midway through the first half but a moment of madness from player/manager Marc Ó Sé turned the tie on its head. The Kerry legend appeared to strike out at former teammate Kieran O’Leary and he subsequently received his marching orders. It was always going to be an uphill battle from that point on and the Killarney side led by nine, 2-12 to 1-6, at the break.

With the Rahilly’s game fresh in the memory, one or two easy jokes were being made up in the terrace at half-time but realistically there was no chance of lightning striking twice. Substitute Tomás Ó Sé goaled with the first attack of the period but Crokes steadied the ship and finished strongly to seal an utterly comprehensive victory.

Attention immediately turned to the last eight and as soon as the draw was made after the match, word quickly filtered around town that Killarney’s biggest sporting rivals, the Crokes and the Legion, would be going head-to-head in the next round.

My Legion teammates have found a bit of form in this year’s championship and we were obviously pleased to beat Rathmore and Mid Kerry to take the direct route to the quarters. As for the draw, you always look forward to games against the Crokes but it’s a tough match-up and you’d imagine that they’ll be heavy favourites heading into it. Regardless of the outcome, it should be a keenly contested game and hopefully a good advertisement for football in Killarney.

Free-scoring East Kerry will face their toughest test to date when they play South Kerry and that match should be a cracker as well. The evergreen Bryan Sheehan kicked 1-3 in his side’s 1-15 to 0-11 win over Rathmore last weekend and South Kerry are notoriously hard to shake when it comes down to the business end of the season.

In the other quarter-final double-header, Division 2 champions Austin Stacks play Dingle and Kerins O’Rahilly’s play St Brendan’s in an all-Tralee clash. Both of those games will be played in Austin Stack Park on Saturday.

If you look at it from a neutral’s perspective, I doubt you could have handpicked a better set of fixtures for this stage of the competition and it promises to be a great weekend of action.

Be sure to check out next Friday’s Killarney Advertiser for in-depth previews of the big games. Follow @AdvertiserSport and @AdamMoynihan on Twitter for updates

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Lissi’s love of nature nets prize

After a successful launch year in the Isle of Man in 2020, ‘The Young Nature Blogger 2021’ went international as Kerry Biosphere and Dublin Bay Biosphere joined the competition. Open to anyone under 21, entrants were asked to write up to 500 words about their favourite experience or place in nature. Each Biosphere participating awarded […]

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After a successful launch year in the Isle of Man in 2020, ‘The Young Nature Blogger 2021’ went international as Kerry Biosphere and Dublin Bay Biosphere joined the competition.

Open to anyone under 21, entrants were asked to write up to 500 words about their favourite experience or place in nature.

Each Biosphere participating awarded local prizes with the top entry from each being submitted to the international competition between the three.

This week the two judges for the international element Author Dara McAnulty and Professor Martin Price, Chair of the UK Man and the Biosphere Committee, have unanimously chosen ‘The Otter’ by Lissi Nickelsen (Kerry) as winner of the inter-Biosphere Young Nature Blogger 2021.

“I absolutely love the observational detail in this piece,” Dara McAnulty, author of ‘Diary of a Young Naturalist’ and the youngest ever winner of The Wainright Prize for nature writing said:

“You can really feel that breathless excitement and tension of seeing an otter. The drawing shows how multimedia can be used to great effect in a blog.”

Professor Martin Price added that it “is a beautifully written blog about a very special encounter”.

“I really get the feeling of what Lissi observed so carefully, and her joy about spending time with an otter! And the drawing is wonderful too!”

Lissi will receive a young naturalist writing set from Dara McNulty, a framed otter picture from Wildlife photographer Vincent Hyland, Wild Derrynane, and a family kayak trip in the Kerry Biosphere.

The winning entry can be read on the Kerry Biosphere website www.kerrybiosphere.ie/news.

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The only certainty is uncertainty

By Michael O’Connor    “History is just one damn thing after another” – Arnold Toynbee Late last week, the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant in South Africa sent shockwaves worldwide, upending what had been a reasonably quiet week for the stock market. On Friday last, a steep sell-off left the S&P 500 and the […]

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By Michael O’Connor   

“History is just one damn thing after another” – Arnold Toynbee

Late last week, the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant in South Africa sent shockwaves worldwide, upending what had been a reasonably quiet week for the stock market. On Friday last, a steep sell-off left the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq down 2.2% and 3.5%, respectively.

This 147th twist in the pandemic tale got me thinking about how much we think we know when really, we know nothing at all.

At the start of the year nobody would have predicted that 2020 would have played out the way it did. Very few would have predicted that 2021, with promising vaccines and a return to normality would have represented so little change, but here we are.

Everyone loves to pretend like they fully understand what this all means and what will happen next. I get it; who doesn’t love the warm cozy allure of certainty. We all want to exist in a world where we know what lies around the corner.

History is a perpetual stream of mistaken opinions and unpredictable outcomes, but the predictions won’t stop. People will cast their views with deluded certainty about what to expect next by extrapolating the current conditions out into the future, but the current conditions aren’t a constant, and the game is always changing.

Unfortunately, the reality is, nobody knows what’s next, and the sooner you can discard any naive sense of conviction, the easier it will be in both life and investing. While this statement may seem morbid on the surface, loosening our grip on our need for certainty can be liberating.

Remember, while it is important to have expectations and predictions, predictions are not fact, and you will be wrong. Not always, but you will be wrong, so try not to be overly tethered to your current version of the truth.

Lean into the uncertainty

Accepting that nothing is certain can often be cast as an impotent statement in a world obsessed with knowing all the answers.

In an industry where uncertainty is the ultimate enemy, telling investors to submit to it is often met with disdain, but accepting the inevitability of uncertainty is so important if you want to avoid going stir crazy as you try and hold for the long term.

Of course, discarding uncertainty is easier said than done. Worrying about factors beyond our control is an inherent part of the human condition. However, simply being aware that the game is not predictable and nobody truly knows the final outcome may help you reduce your craving for certainty.

My advice

Stop reaching for perfection in a world of constant uncertainty. Stop obsessing about making the right decision one hundred percent of the time. Even the best investors in history have had their fair share of howlers. Ultimately you just need to be right more often than you are wrong.

The solution

Create an investment portfolio centred around what you believe to be the most probable outcome based on available information and incorporate enough diversification to function as a buffer.

In a world where anything is possible, all you can do is focus on what is most probable, allow for a margin of error to support you when your assumed outcomes don’t play out and simply let go of the rest.

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