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Showtime Lakers turn on the style

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National League: Division 1
Scotts Lakers 125
Limerick Celtics 106

Saturday marked the Scotts’ Lakers final home game of the calendar year and they signed off in style with a superb 19-point win over the Limerick Celtics.

Limerick were victorious in the reverse fixture on opening night but they encountered a much different outfit this time out as the Killarney club secured three crucial points in their quest to earn promotion to the Super League.

The result leaves the Lakers third in Division 1, just one win behind Fr Mathews with 10 games remaining. Leaders Ballincollig are still undefeated so it appears as though the Lakers and Mathews will be fighting it out for second, and a spot in the league final, in the New Year.

If Saturday’s performance is anything to go by, local basketball fans have every reason to be optimistic heading into 2020.

THREES

The Lakers flew out of the blocks against the Celtics and experienced shooting guard O’Neill drained three early threes to help establish an 11-2 lead. When Aaron Jackson got up for a spectacular dunk moments later, the Lakers were rolling.

Danish forward Tobias Christensen was a major factor throughout and he showed his versatility with three very different plays in a matter of seconds. First, he snuck inside for a lay-up, then he showed his defensive capabilities with a strong block at the other end, and finally he broke away on transition and lobbed an alley-oop that was acrobatically converted (with a lay-up) by Aaron Jackson. This opened up an imposing 17-2 lead and the Celtics were already on the ropes.

Spaniard Carlos Hortelano scored six straight points to settle the visitors’ nerves but another three by O’Neill, his fourth, kept the Lakers ticking over.

New American signing Xavier Talton replaced Jackson towards the end of the first and the home debutant quickly got to work, driving baseline and finishing to register his first points at the Auracle. Talton then forced a turnover and released Christensen for an easy basket and the Colorado native rounded off an impressive first few minutes on home court with a delicate teardrop that made it 29-15 in favour of St Paul’s.

O’Neill added another three, his fifth, to further extend the hosts’ lead but then the Celtics’ American, Kevin Oberweiser, began to cause problems for the Lakers defence.

Oberweiser scored five straight points including a buzzer-beating three to round off the quarter and all of a sudden the deficit was cut to 11.

Christensen completed a three-point play to start the second, however, and with Séamus Brosnan also finding his shot, the Lakers’ lead never appeared to be in too much danger. Yet another Brian O’Neill three, his sixth, and two points at the horn by Brosnan (via a goaltend) pushed the lead out to 20 (68-48).

OBERWEISER

O’Neill added a couple more from long range in the third and by that point there was no real possibility of a comeback, despite the best efforts of Oberweiser who was in outrageous form. All told, the Montana native dropped in 43 points.

Coach Shane McCarthy gave local youngsters Jamie O’Sullivan and Jack Corridan a chance to shine down the stretch and both acquitted themselves admirably.

In the end, the final score of 125 to 106 (the highest-scoring game of the season) didn’t flatter the Lakers one bit. Jackson, Christensen and O’Neill were the top performers but the hosts also got significant contributions from Mick McGinn, Brosnan, O’Sullivan and new point guard Xavier Talton, who showed flashes of excellence on his home debut.

Speaking to the Killarney Advertiser, Talton said he enjoyed his first game in Killarney.

“I thought the atmosphere of the gym was great with the support of the fans,” the former University of Colorado star said. “I was glad we were able to come away with the win in my first home game.

“We’re look forward to getting back to it and continuing the winning streak after the Christmas break.”

Next up for the Lakers is an away fixture against IT Carlow on December 28 and they’re back on home court on Saturday, January 4 when they welcome league leaders Ballincollig to Killarney.

LAKERS SCORERS: Aaron Jackson (26), Toby Christensen (25) and Brian O’Neill (24).

CELTICS SCORERS: Kevin Oberweiser (43), Carlos Hortelano (33) and James Murphy (15).

 

Pic: Eamonn Keogh.

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Killarney Triathlon Club’s open water swim on the lake

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On Tuesday evening last, members of the Killarney Triathlon Club took part in a breathtaking open water swim, starting from Dundag Beach and spanning the middle lake to a nearby island. Covering a distance of approximately 1.5 kilometers, the event saw all participants return safely, basking in a well-deserved sense of accomplishment.

Set against the stunning backdrop of Killarney National Park, swimmers enjoyed views of woodlands,  mountains, and Muckross House. Safety was paramount during the swim, as it is in all the club’s events. Essential precautions included the use of tow floats, safety kayakers, and safety boats, ensuring the well-being of all participants.

“Our club is incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by such a beautiful environment,” said Caitriona Shanahan, PRO of Killarney Triathlon Club. “The views during our swims are truly spectacular, and the safety measures we implement help everyone feel secure and enjoy the experience.”

Killarney Triathlon Club offers numerous benefits to athletes of all levels. These include structured training programs, expert coaching, group workouts and more. 

“We welcome all levels and abilities. Joining our club not only improves physical fitness but also offers great fun and the added benefits of stress relief from sea swimming. There truly is nothing like the calming effect of a group swim in the sea.” Caitriona added.

For those interested in joining the Killarney Triathlon Club, more information can be found on their social media platforms and their website, Killarneytri.com.

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Danny Healy-Rae welcomes decision to push back changes for cataract payments

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The Health Service Executive has deferred a move to cut the price it reimburses people for cataract treatments in the European Union and in Northern Ireland, under its overseas treatment schemes and a separate system for the North.

The prices were due to change from the start of this month, but the HSE has pushed the date back so that no one is disadvantaged, and to fully communicate with patients, treatment consultants and providers, cost changes will not come into effect until September 1.

The payments for less complex eye treatments were due to fall from €1,912 to €863 or the National Health Service equivalent of £766 in Northern Ireland. The most common cataract procedure payments were due to reduce from €1,456 to €1,171.

The HSE said that the vast majority of procedures fall into this new payment price. It said that the more complex glaucoma/cataract treatment payments will rise from €1,912 to €4,206.

Danny Healy Rae welcomed the news saying, “Following my representations and raising of this matter in the Dáil, I am glad that the HSE have agreed that they will continue to reimburse the higher rates for cataract procedure for those carried out up to the end of August 2024.

“I am advising anyone who needs to have their cataracts removed to do so now before the change to reimbursement amounts comes in.”

All cataract treatment carried out in Belfast after the 1st September 2024 will be subject to the new DRG rates.

Honouring the Kerry women of the revolutionary period

Kerry County Council is to invite expressions of interest next week for the commissioning and development of a commemorative and artistic piece which will honour the role played by women in Kerry during the revolutionary period between 1912 and 1923.

The project follows a joint motion by the five female members of Kerry County Council who called for the development and commissioning of a meaningful and lasting commemorative piece which would reflect the significant and diverse roles and activities of women and their involvement in the campaign for Irish Independence at the beginning of the twentieth century.

A Working Group, including the five female councillors, has been developing a design brief, and the Council intends to publish a detailed brief for the memorial next week and expressions of interest will be invited.

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