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O’Connor: I think most of us feel like we’ve improved game in, game out

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Following last Saturday’s 107-84 win over LYIT Donegal, the Scotts Lakers are two wins away from claiming the Division 1B title in their first season back in the National League. Adam Moynihan caught up with club captain Philip O’Connor to find out the secret behind their current run of form.

Let’s start with Saturday night. It was another comprehensive win. What stood out for you about the team’s performance?

Just the all round play of everyone really. We broke the 100 point mark at home for the first time this year and I think it’s only the second time this season we’ve done it. Everyone put in a good performance on the night and we’ve probably shown a bit of consistency in the last four or five games which we’ve been lacking all year. Just to get everyone firing on the same level was good.

There has been a bit of a turnaround since the league was divided into two. I know you’re possibly playing against weaker teams but what would you attribute that new-found form to?

There is obviously the fact that there are a few weaker teams but I would think that there are two or three teams at the top of 1A that would be a cut above the rest, and they’ve shown that throughout the year. There’s a three-way tie at the top at the moment. I think the rest of the teams are on a similar level but we’ve just found a better vein of form than we had at the start of the campaign.

A lot of guys like myself and Mark Greene who had just come back into the league were finding our feet for the first few games. Maybe we’ve just learned how to win games.

You had a change in coach midway through the season with Cormac O’Donoghue coming in. What has Cormac brought to the team? Have things been different under him?

I think the main thing Cormac would have brought was a pure understanding of the league, having coached in it and won at this level before and being so successful with other teams as well.

Dailian Mason has stepped in at the point guard position as a replacement for Mihail Kapitanov. How do you think he’s done?

He’s been very good in pretty much every game he’s played. He’s added an awful lot of scoring and pace to our team that we didn’t have, and he gives us an extra option on defence as well. He’s been a nice addition.

You have two games left in the league. It would obviously be nice to get a bit of silverware. How would you rate your chances at this stage?

Well, we beat Dublin Lions (tonights opponents) on the opening day of the season but they’ve also had a bit of resurgence up until last week when they actually lost a game. But they’ve been one of the form sides since Christmas too so that’s a tough game going up to Dublin.

We lost to Kilkenny on the second day of a back-t0-back up there but I think we wouldn’t be afraid of either team. If we get a win in Dublin, we’ll be coming home with a chance to take it all and that’s a big incentive. I’m sure we can do the business.

There’s also a playoff at the end of the season between some of the top teams in Division 1A and 1B. Would it be nice to get another crack off one or two of the bigger teams in the league?

Not to single them out but Ballincollig had a big win the last day (against Killorglin) and we were fairly disappointed with our performance against them in the cup semi-final. Just for that reason alone it’d be nice to get another go off them because we didn’t do ourselves justice on that particular night.

On a personal note, how do feel you’ve done so far and what are your goals for the rest of the season?

My goal is always to stay fit. I broke my toe in the first game so that didn’t go too well! Since then it’s been fine. I just want to keep improving. I think most of us feel like we’ve improved game in, game out and we’re learning to adapt to the league. Hopefully I can become more influential and just keep winning games.

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Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]

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The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.

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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]

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The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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