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Rejuvenated Crokes ready for final battle

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Kerry SFC Final
Dr Crokes v Dingle
Today at 3pm
Austin Stack Park

When Crokes fell apart against Kerins O’Rahilly’s at the start of September, obituaries had already been written before people had reached the bottom of the Sandpit. Half the team were past it. This fella is too old. That fella isn’t up to it.

It always amazes me how short the memory of a football fan is. I definitely thought they were faltering somewhat, and their flaws were certainly laid bare in that final quarter, but to write this Crokes team off completely was madness.

I remember speaking to a friend (I won’t say what club he is) and he was delighted. “It makes the championship way more interesting,” he said. I agreed but warned that Crokes might come back stronger through the back door.

“There’s a back door?! Ah bollocks.”

It does seem as though that shock to the system was exactly what Crokes needed and bar the opening 10 or 15 minutes against An Ghaeltacht in Round 3, they’ve been back to their devastating best. They put Legion to the sword in the quarters and exacted revenge against Rahilly’s in Tralee a fortnight ago.

They are odds-on favourites to win on Sunday and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone this side of Páirc an Ághasaigh who would back against them.

Not that Dingle will make it easy for them. I was actually away for both the drawn game against East Kerry and the replay so I can’t comment too much on what transpired but by all accounts there was a nastiness to their game that unsettled their opponents.

Tony Brosnan in particular is sure to be in for a bumpy ride but Crokes can mix it as well so things could get a bit spicy. The last thing Pat O’Shea will want is an hour-long fight, though. Crokes are the better team and they will in all likelihood beat Dingle at football – if a game of football is what we get. The referee will play a big role in this regard.

Of course, it would be disrespectful to dismiss Dingle as merely a team of fighters. They have some outstanding footballers, most notably goal machine Paul Geaney who is liable to do damage against any full back line he comes up against.

One of the criticisms I heard of East Kerry the last day was that they left Geaney 1 v 1 with his marker at the top of the square. I don’t think Crokes will be that naïve and I’d expect him to be smothered any time a long ball comes in his direction.

Roving defender Tom O’Sullivan continues to turn heads too and the all-action half-back kicked five points from play in his last outing. It will be interesting to see who is tasked with keeping him quiet in the decider.

I just think Crokes have too many weapons up front. Even if the free-scoring Tony Brosnan is kept quiet – which won’t be easily done - you have the revitalised Kieran O’Leary, you have David Shaw, you have Jordan Kiely… Everywhere you look there’s a potential match-winner and that’s what continues to separate Crokes from every other team in Kerry.

Verdict: Crokes by six.

Pic: Eamonn Keogh.

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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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