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Showtime Lakers bringing Killarney together

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How did we survive for almost a decade without National League basketball?

Last Saturday night’s league decider was just the latest in a long line of thrilling spectacles at the Auracle and, just seven months after reforming, the Lakers have firmly re-established themselves as Killarney’s favourite sports team.

Another huge crowd turned out to see Cormac O’Donoghue’s side duke it out with Kilkenny and the atmosphere in the fourth quarter was really special.

There’s just something about the back-and-forth nature of basketball that lends itself to great drama and excitement and those final few minutes were some of the most enjoyable I’ve experienced in a long time.

The Lakers are the only team Killarney has at that level so there’s a real sense of community at these games. It’s very different to other sports in that regard. With football and soccer, there are multiple clubs so the fan bases are divided. As we all know, there are fierce rivalries in Killarney and rivalries tend to breed bitterness.

At St Paul’s games, there’s no Legion or Crokes or Spa or Athletic or Celtic. There’s a lot of love in the building. It’s refreshing.

Personally, I love covering the basketball because, unlike football and soccer, no one in Killarney can accuse me of being biased (or not biased enough). Which is great. Also I love basketball, so that helps.

It’s a major regret of mine that I never took it up when I was younger. I’m jealous of the local boys like Flip and Mark Greene to be honest. The Lakers are without question the best Killarney team to play for at the moment. Athletic are second, obviously. (Legion juniors third.)

After starting reasonably well, the Kilkenny game looked to be slipping away from the Lakers. They trailed by 11 with six minutes to play and the energy was fairly sucked out of the building at that stage. The visitors started to tire, however, and with 3:30 on the clock, the gap was cut to just five.

In arguably the most important play of the game, Mark Greene, who was excellent all night, intercepted a pass and was fouled in the open floor. The Lakers, who are normally very good free throw shooters, had been struggling from the line all night so there was an air of trepidation in the building. Greene was unaffected. He steadied himself and drained the pair of them to make it a one-score game.

Antuan Bootle hit two free throws and all of a sudden it was 80-81. The next play down, Kilkenny stifled the Lakers attack but Dan Griffin gathered a rebound, turned and threw up a fadeaway jumper as the shot clock expired. It went in and the place erupted. (Check out my Twitter video on @AdvertiserSport if you get a chance. Scenes.)

Dailian Mason made a three shortly after and the game, and Shield, was won.

They now have a home League Cup quarter final against the fourth place team from Division 1A, IT Carlow. That tie will take place Sunday at 11am. Win or lose, this will definitely be the last home game of the season as the semis and final are on up the country.

From speaking to the players, the leagues themselves (i.e. Division 1A and Division 1B) and the President’s Cup seem to be the priority but I’m sure they’ll be going all out to challenge for this trophy as well. I think you could already call their first season back a success but there’s till time for it to get even better.

Fixture:

Tomorrow Sunday at 6.30pm

League Cup Quarter Final

Scotts Lakers v IT Carlow

(Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre)

The winners will play in the semi-finals in Tallaght on Monday at 11am.

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Killarney competitors bring home the medals

By Michelle Crean It was a great weekend for Killarney as Brazilian jiu jitsu competitors took home medals from the AJP Switzerland International Tour in Zurich. Members of Movement & Fitness Club competed against the world’s finest athletes which led to them bringing home amazing results.After a great fight Matthew Morris made it into the […]

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By Michelle Crean

It was a great weekend for Killarney as Brazilian jiu jitsu competitors took home medals from the AJP Switzerland International Tour in Zurich.

Members of Movement & Fitness Club competed against the world’s finest athletes which led to them bringing home amazing results.After a great fight Matthew Morris made it into the semi-finals.Ewelina Downey received two gold medals in Gi and NOGI fights, just two months after her promotion to blue belt.The club’s coach, Wilson Da Silva, also competed for the first time as a brown belt, and won gold in the Gi category and silver in NOGI.”The results don’t lie,” he said.”The hard work, dedication, commitment and passion pays off. Impossible is nothing, and that’s what we are trying to teach our students in Movement & Fitness Club Killarney.”Martial Arts helps to fight depression, bulling, obesity, and builds up self esteem and confidence, he explained.”There is no ego, no one is better, we are all the same trying to learn from each other, helping and correcting ourselves so we become better together. Our club is filling up with amazing students from age four up who connect with us by the same passion and love for the sport. If you are looking to change your life come and join our family.”

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Ian makes his debut as a radio presenter

By Sean Moriarty Ian O’Connell said he is delighted with the messages of support following his first broadcast as a presenter on Radio Kerry this week. The well-known and popular Killarney man was left with life-changing injuries after falling from his bike in Killarney National Park in 2017. Since the accident he has been a […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Ian O’Connell said he is delighted with the messages of support following his first broadcast as a presenter on Radio Kerry this week.

The well-known and popular Killarney man was left with life-changing injuries after falling from his bike in Killarney National Park in 2017.

Since the accident he has been a champion for the less fortunate under his mantra: “If you can’t stand up – standout”.

This was the inspiration behind his brand new radio show which aired for the first time on Wednesday evening.

‘Stand Out with Ian O’Connell’ will feature interviews with people who have overcome great adversary to reach even greater heights.

His first guest was fellow Killarney man Jordan Lee. The Paralympian represented Ireland in the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

“I was used to being in the studio from people interviewing me, but this time I turned the table,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

“It was great to have Jordan on, two Killarney men! I really enjoyed it, it got a massive reaction and I got loads of emails and messages afterwards and into Thursday morning.”

Ian will reveal his guest for the show on the previous Monday through various social media channels.

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