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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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Get the gift of amazing skin this Christmas

By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio Treat your loved ones or yourself to a powerful professional skincare gift set. Rarely can you, or should you, get by with using one single skincare product. For a well-rounded skincare routine you have to at least use a cleanser, toner, serum, moisturiser and SPF. Whether […]

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By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio

Treat your loved ones or yourself to a powerful professional skincare gift set.

Rarely can you, or should you, get by with using one single skincare product. For a well-rounded skincare routine you have to at least use a cleanser, toner, serum, moisturiser and SPF. Whether you already know your hyaluronic acids, vitamins or are a skincare newbie, a Sothys skincare product will make the perfect gift. They are beautifully packaged and have great offers, e.g. half price serums.

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Killorglin mother and son pen poetry book

By Michelle Crean What do roses, wrens, King Puck, fairies and Santa Claus have in common? Well, all now feature in a new children’s book co-written by a mother and son. The new illustrated poetry collection for children, ‘A Very Kerry Year’, by Killorglin mother and son, Jacinta and Conor Browne, has been published just […]

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By Michelle Crean

What do roses, wrens, King Puck, fairies and Santa Claus have in common? Well, all now feature in a new children’s book co-written by a mother and son.

The new illustrated poetry collection for children, ‘A Very Kerry Year’, by Killorglin mother and son, Jacinta and Conor Browne, has been published just in time for Christmas.

And all proceeds will be donated to Comfort for Chemo, an organisation whose mission it is to build and equip a chemotherapy unit for the people of Kerry.

The charity is close to the young author’s heart as Conor himself was undergoing cancer treatment while writing this book.

With original poetry by the mother and son, the book also has another separate family connection as the talented illustrators are local artists, father-daughter duo Con and Rochelle Lucey, with each page awash with colour and beautiful drawings.

“I know first-hand how important it is to have a comfortable environment while receiving chemotherapy,” Conor said.

‘A Very Kerry Year’ is currently available for €12 from The Crystal Cave and the Reeks District Tourist Office in Killorglin and will soon be available in many more outlets throughout the county.

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