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It is exactly 20 years ago this weekend since Kerry Spring St Paul’s U19 national cup victory

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TWENTY years ago this weekend, on Saturday January 25, 1997, the Kerry Spring St Paul's U-19 team enjoyed a spectacular 65-63 victory over Star of the Sea Belfast to clinch the U-19 National Cup at The National Basketball Arena in Dublin. It was the second time in three years that St Paul's enjoyed success in this competition following another victory in 1995.

Star of the Sea were hot favourites for this title but the Killarney side caused a big shock in a thrilling encounter that was viewed as the most exciting game of the weekend of the Sprite National Cup series that hosted ten different fixtures. St Paul's were well in contention from the start with team captain Shane Horgan, David O'Flaherty, Paul Kennedy, Michael Clifford and David Griffin all contributing well. Star of the Sea were led by Irish International and Longford GAA player Trevor Smullen and the Belfast side led 26-20 midway through the first half. However St Paul's responded magnificently hitting 13 points without reply through Griffin, Horgan, O'Flaherty and Kennedy to lead 33-26 with five minutes left. Star hit back but St Paul's stayed in front to lead 41-37 at the interval.

It was a closely contested third quarter and St Paul's enjoyed a narrow 52-50 lead entering the final quarter. The outstanding David Griffin produced some magical moments on both ends of the court to keep St Paul's ahead but Smullen levelled matters at 56 points each with seven minutes remaining. The title seemed destined for Star as Smullen pushed them 61-58 in front with three minutes left but Horgan and Griffin turned it around for St Paul's to lead 62-61. Star were ahead again with 90 seconds left but a crucial basket from Clifford gave St Paul's a 64-63 lead entering the final minute.
Both sides squandered opportunities in a tense and drama filled finish before Shane Horgan converted a free throw with 13 seconds left to secure a magnificent victory for St Paul's.

Match MVP David Griffin led the scoring for St Paul's with 24 points followed by David O'Flaherty 16, Shane Horgan 12, Paul Kennedy 9, Micheal Clifford 4, Kenneth McCarthy, John Brosnan, Aidan McCarthy, Michael O'Mahoney, Cathal Bartlett, Colin Russell, John Griffin and Ciaran Driver. Coach: Karl Fleming.
Star: Trevor Smullen 30, Neal McCotter 14.

On the same weekend in 1997 on Friday, January 24, the Kerry Spring St Paul's senior men’s team were competing in the showpiece weekend of Irish Basketball before a capacity crowd at The National Basketball Arena. St Paul's featured in the first live TV semi-final against St Vincent's Dublin but it was a disappointing performance from the Killarney side losing 88-74.
St Paul's did enjoy a promising start with Nick Browning leading the way and they raced into an early 13-4 lead and were 30-23 in front with five minutes left in the first half. However St Vincent's bounced back and enjoyed a 38-37 advantage at half-time.
 


 
Above: The Kerry Spring St Paul's U-19 team celebrating National Cup success in January 1997. Front from left are David O'Flaherty, Aidan McCarthy, David Griffin, Shane Horgan (Captain), Cathal Bartlett and Ciaran Driver. Back from left are Gerard Coughlan (Kerry Spring), Michael O'Mahoney, John Griffin, Colin Russell, Paul Kennedy, Kenneth McCarthy, John Brosnan, Micheal Clifford, Karl Fleming (Coach) and Mike Murphy (Kerry Spring).
PICTURE: EAMONN KEOGH

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Spa GAA lights up – continues each Wednesday night

By Sean Moriarty Spa GAA club has signed up to participate in the Ireland Lights Up winter walking initiative. The lights will be on every Wednesday night between 7pm and 8pm for the next few weeks at the club’s new walking track. This week marked the second week of night walking but the club also held […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Spa GAA club has signed up to participate in the Ireland Lights Up winter walking initiative.

The lights will be on every Wednesday night between 7pm and 8pm for the next few weeks at the club’s new walking track. This week marked the second week of night walking but the club also held a candle-light vigil in memory of Ashling Murphy, the Offaly school-teacher who was murdered while out for a walk two weeks ago.

“Participants can follow the walking track that offers a safe off-road path and this activity is open to everyone in the community. If anyone would be available to help with registration or stewarding any night, all help is greatly appreciated,” said club PRO Deirdre O’Sullivan-Darcy.

Any volunteers that can help any evening or any questions please contact Margaret Doyle on 0879181970.

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Specialists to examine Killarney trees ahead of future storms

By Sean Moriarty Killarney Municipal District is to appoint the services of a tree specialist to exam the condition of trees in the wider district. The move follows last December’s Storm Barra. during which several tress were toppled. One motorist had a lucky escape when a tree fell on their car during the storm. Another fallen […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney Municipal District is to appoint the services of a tree specialist to exam the condition of trees in the wider district.

The move follows last December’s Storm Barra. during which several tress were toppled. 
One motorist had a lucky escape when a tree fell on their car during the storm. Another fallen tree blocked access to the Moll’s Gap road near Muckross.
Both Cllrs John O’Donoghue and Donal Grady raised the issue at a recent Killarney Municipal District meeting.
“In order to mitigate against such events, the Killarney MD Office are in the process of preparing tender documents to procure assessment of specific trees that are in the charge of Kerry County Council.” A council official told the meeting.
“This will allow the MD to make determinations on individual trees in its charge. Individual property owners are responsible for the welfare and maintenance of trees within and along the boundary of their property lines.”

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