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Battling Lakers come up short against league leaders Demons



by Enda Walshe

National League Division 1
Scotts Lakers 71 UCC Demons 92
Killarney Sports & Leisure Centre

While the result might paint the picture of a one-sided game, it belies the fact that for long periods the home side gave as good as they got against the table-toppers from across the county bounds.

Indeed, early in the second half when Senan O’Leary drained two consecutive three pointers to make it a seven-point game, there was a definite whiff of a competitive game in the air, However, Demons player Stefan Manojovic put any hopes of a home win to bed with four three pointers in the third quarter and the Lakers could not get within touching distance again.

There is no denying that Demons were full value for their win with Kyle Hosford conducting the orchestra, but what could not be hidden was the way the Lakers went about the game as they battled all the way to the end.

It is widely acknowledged that Demons are a Super League team in waiting and though they were slow to settle, they eventually got going in the second part of the opening quarter. Only Jamie O’Sullivan and Rui Saravia got on the scoresheet for the Lakers as Tala Fam Thiam and Hosford helped Demons to a 23-8 lead.

The presence of Paul Clarke, who was still nursing an injury, coincided with Lakers’ best periods as his defence and reading of the game made a big difference. He was central to one of the scores of the night with slick passing seeing Ben Miller laying up and completing a three-point play. With O’Sullivan and Daniel Carroll on song, the Lakers stayed in touch at the break, trailing 31-43.

The Lakers’ cause wasn't helped by a facial injury to top scorer Emilian Grudov. He sat out a lot of the first half and his influence on the game was never really significant thereafter.

The third quarter saw Demons extend their lead to 23 points, despite the best efforts of Saravia (who had his best outing to date), Miller and O’Leary.

A notable introduction to National League basketball came in the shape of 17-year-old Luke Crowley, son of Kerry GAA legend Johnny, and he set about his task with gusto. He was later joined by the highly rated Jack O’Sullivan for his home debut.

Baskets from Grudov, Clarke, Miller and two further three pointers from O’Leary meant the Lakers kept their tempo going to the very end. On reflection it can be noted they outscored their illustrious opponents in the second and fourth quarters.

It's nights like these that the young players learn from and the big home support could fully see and appreciate the wholehearted effort of the squad.

“We played well in periods but at other times we might have held onto the ball for too long, and defensively at times communication was lacking,” head coach Jarlath Lee said.

“This is a process with such a young team, it will take time. But we will get there.”

The Lakers are on the road again on November 27 as they travel to Portlaoise looking to avenge their cup defeat at the hands of the Panthers. The next home game sees Limerick Sport Eagles visit the Killarney Sports & Leisure Centre on Saturday, December 11.

SCOTTS LAKERS: Ben Miller (16), Rui Saravia (15), Senan O’Leary (14), Jamie O’Sullivan (10), Emilian Grudov (7), Daniel Carroll (5), Paul Clarke (4), Lorcan Keane, Mark Sheehan, Jack O’Sullivan, Jason Lee.

UCC DEMONS TOP SCORERS: Tala Fam Thiam (26), Kyle Hosford (17), Stefan Manojovic (14).


Glorious weather for Kerry County Coastal Rowing championships

It was a day of glorious sunshine yesterday (Sunday) as Flesk Valley Rowing Club hosted the 2022 Kerry County Coastal Rowing championships for the very first time in beautiful Castlelough […]




It was a day of glorious sunshine yesterday (Sunday) as Flesk Valley Rowing Club hosted the 2022 Kerry County Coastal Rowing championships for the very first time in beautiful Castlelough Bay on Lough Lein.

Hundreds flocked to the Valley shore to see the coastal clubs of Kerry race in crews from Under 12 to Masters. As well as clubs from around the Ring of Kerry, there was a strong representation from the Killarney clubs with the Workmen, Commercials and Fossa wearing their colours with pride. The atmosphere, colour, fun and fierce competition produced a spectacular day that will live long in the memory.

The event was opened by the Councillor John O’Donoghue, vice chair of the Killarney Municipal District who congratulated Flesk Valley on their centenary, which occurred during 1920, and wished all of the clubs a successful day’s racing.

The first race was preceded by a special blessing of the boats by Fr Eugene McGillycuddy, who also remembered Brendan Teahan of Cromane Rowing Club in his prayers.

Afterwards John Fleming, chair of Flesk Valley, expressed his immense pride and satisfaction with the success of the regatta.

“It’s our first time ever hosting a regatta, but we wanted to do something special to mark our 102 years in existence,” he said.

“It was a lot of work, but we have a fantastic hard-working committee in Flesk Valley who really pulled out all the stops to make it happen, and we received fantastic support from our members, parents, other clubs and local businesses.”

John also thanked the Kerry Coastal Rowing Association, in particular Mary B Teahan and Andrew Wharton, and the staff of the Killarney National Park for all their support and encouragement in hosting this event.

This was a qualifying event and the Kerry clubs will be heading to Wexford next weekend to complete for honours at the All-Ireland Coastal Rowing Championships.

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Live referee mics should be the norm – swearing concerns be damned



by Adam Moynihan

I was disappointed to learn that the GAA are preventing TG4 from using their live referee mic in this Sunday’s Wexford hurling final.

(And not just because I had already written an article saying how great live referee mics are and how they are sure to be implemented across the board. Ctrl + A. Delete.)

TG4’s GAA coverage is superb and they raised the bar once again when they mic’d up referee John O’Halloran for the Kerry hurling final between Causeway and Ballyduff.

Pinning a microphone on the referee is standard practice in televised rugby and judging by the positive response to Gaelic games’ first foray into this territory, I was expecting it to become the norm.

It still might but, explaining their decision to The 42, the GAA said that they were not aware beforehand of the ref mic being trialled in Stack Park on Sunday.

“They believe such a development will require more discussion and education if it is to be implemented on a more regular basis in live TV coverage and could possibly need a policy change,” Fintan O’Toole reported.

The image of the Association is surely the primary concern here.

Players and managers – usually the worst behaved participants when it comes to things like swearing – will be among those who get “educated” on the subject. Some verbal abuse that might otherwise be muted for television viewers will, in all likelihood, be picked up by the referee’s microphone. You would imagine that the teams involved will be reminded of this the week of a televised game.

It also makes sense from Croke Park’s point of view to speak to referees and give them guidance on how to conduct themselves when the mic is on.

In fact, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if senior GAA figures are currently fretting over the possibility of an agitated ref making headlines for something they say in the heat of the moment. And make no mistake about it, some match officials can eff and jeff with the best of them.

A friend of mine (a Wexford man, funnily enough) recalls an incident when a teammate was unceremoniously taken out of it by an opponent.

“Ah ref, for f***’s sake!” the victim complained.

“I gave you the f***ing free,” the referee replied. “What do you want me to do, slap him in the face with a wet fish?!”

The GAA might think that a referee swearing like that would leave all of us red-faced. In reality the clip would be a viral sensation and the general public would probably call for the official in question to run for Áras an Uachtárain. (He’d get my ****ing vote.)

The odd swear word from someone involved is bound to sneak through every now and then but you’d hear the same – and plenty more – at any match you attend from Cahersiveen to County Antrim.

Implementing the referee mic on a wider scale is a no-brainer as far as I’m concerned. It doesn’t appear to take a huge amount of effort or expense for the broadcaster to set it up and, more importantly, it offers a wonderful insight into the unknown.

Listening to referees explain their decisions in real time will clear a lot of things up for commentators, analysts and the media. We will no longer have to speculate about what they did or did not see, or what specific rule is being cited, or why.

Viewers, especially those who might be casual followers of the sport, will appreciate it too and become more educated; I know that’s how I feel when I watch rugby, for example.

It just leads to greater transparency and understanding.

Well done to TG4 and the Kerry County Board for being the pioneers. I’m sure others will follow their lead – as soon as the GAA allow them to do so.


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