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Mixed fortunes for St Paul’s in Week 1 of new National League season



The St Paul’s men’s and women’s teams got their respective National League Division 1 campaigns up and running with a double-header in Carlow on Sunday last and they came home to Killarney with one impressive win and one disappointing yet encouraging defeat.

The Utility Trust St Paul’s ladies overcame the hosts, SETU Carlow, on an emphatic scoreline of 83-50 with new American signing Jess Huber racking up a whopping 35 points. Coach James Fleming was without the services of several GAA-tied players like Rheanne O’Shea, Leah McMahon, Lorraine Scanlon, Denise Dunlea and Cliona Coffey so the manner of the victory will no doubt be encouraging to him and his backroom team.

Huber dropped in 14 first-quarter points as the home team struggled to keep in touch early on. They trailed by 14 at half-time (40-26) and with Niamh Ní Chonchúir, Alexa Naessens and Lynn Jones to the fore, the Killarney side accelerated even further ahead in the second half.

When Huber nailed the final basket of the game – a three-pointer – Paul’s led by 33 points. The squad can be pleased with this opening day win; it serves as an early marker of their intentions for the 2023/24 season.

ST PAUL’S SCORERS: Jess Huber 35, Alexa Naessens 12, Niamh Ní Chonchúir 10, Lynn Jones 9, Meabh Barry 7, Mary Kate Smith 7, Tara Donnellan 3.


The St Paul’s men’s team, operating under the Scotts Lakers banner, also took on SETU Carlow on Sunday but they were unable to make it a double as they fell to a 12-point defeat (99-87).

Despite losing, the away team played with a competitive spirit, structure and purpose that could have led to a more fruitful outcome. They trailed by 11 points at half-time (61-50) but they came back into contention by the end of the third with new signings Terion Moss (25 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists) and Braden Bell (28 points, 8 rebounds) leading the way.

The deficit was just three points in the closing seconds of the period when a controversial buzzer-beater, plus a free throw, was awarded to Carlow.

Now trailing by six, the Lakers fought hard at the start of the fourth quarter, but the home side managed to plough ahead and capture the points.

Nevertheless it was a positive enough start for the Lakers with several young local players showing what they’re capable of. Jack O’Sullivan scored 13 points, Paul Clarke played a captain’s role and Jamie O’Sullivan also caught the eye. Ronan Collins will have benefitted from his first outing in a while and Mark Sheehan and Eoin O’Carroll added to their burgeoning reputations. Young Chris Healy made his National League debut while Oisín Spring again saw court time.

SCOTTS LAKERS SCORERS: Braden Bell 28, Terion Moss 25, Jack O’Sullivan 13, Paul Clarke 7, Jamie O’Sullivan 7, Eoin O’Carroll 6, Ronan Collins 1.


Both St Paul’s teams are in action at home at the Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre on Saturday. The St Paul’s ladies host the Limerick Celtics 4.30pm and the Lakers will take on the Limerick Sport Eagles at the same venue at 7.30pm.

The Eagles will be a tough assignment; they have brought in Da’Kquan Davis and Keelen Coats, two quality players who combined for 68 points in their opening night win over the Titans.



Fossa on cusp of history as club from ‘nine square miles’ eyes senior status



Kerry IFC Final

Fossa v Milltown/Castlemaine

Sunday 2.30pm

Austin Stack Park

Never before in the history of Kerry football has an Intermediate final attracted so much attention.

On Sunday, two clubs go head-to-head with a trophy and promotion on the line – but this high-profile encounter has far more riding on it than that.

In fact, the consequences of the outcome of this second-tier decider are going to be massive. If Fossa win, they will graduate to senior for the first time in their 53-year existence. It would represent a monumental achievement for the club from the small parish to the northwest of Killarney; few, if any, believed it would ever be possible given their lowly standing as recently as a few years ago.

With two generational talents at their disposal in the form of the Clifford brothers from Two Mile, they have rapidly risen through the ranks. Now they are seeking their second successive promotion following on from last year’s extra time win over Listry in the Junior Premier final.

And if the idea of Fossa going out on their own in the Kery Senior Football Championship wasn’t intriguing enough on its own, there’s more. A Fossa win would mean that East Kerry, winners of four of the last five titles, would lose their Fossa contingent for 2024. Most notable amongst that cohort are Paudie and David Clifford, unquestionably the district’s two most influential players.

There is plenty of intrigue from Milltown/Castlemaine’s perspective too. The Mid Kerry side are aiming to get back to senior level for the first time since being relegated in 2016 following defeat to Kilcummin in a playoff. They were not considered to be amongst the frontrunners for this competition before a ball was kicked, and possibly not after the group stage either, so victory this weekend would be sweet.

Of course, a Milltown/Castlemaine win would also have a huge bearing on the 2024 County Championship. Mid Kerry (runners-up in 2020, 2022 and 2023) stand to lose five starters if Milltown are promoted: Pa Wrenn, David Roche, Gavin Horan, Cillian Burke and Éanna O’Connor. Such a loss would greatly weaken their hand and widen the gap that already exists between them and the reigning champions. Add to that the fact that East Kerry will keep the Cliffords if Milltown/Castlemaine win, and the significance of this game is magnified further still.

There is so much at stake for all the invested parties in East and Mid Kerry, and there is plenty to consider for the neutral fan as well. Many would welcome the weakening of East Kerry’s squad as it would potentially lead to a more competitive County Championship. However, there is serious concern amongst Kerry supporters that the Cliffords are in need of a rest after a long couple of years with club and county. If Fossa prevail they will advance to the Munster Championship and possibly beyond if they manage to keep on winning. This would likely interfere with their star players’ off-season.

There’s no doubt that the nature of Fossa’s matches to date have whetted the appetite for this final. They were involved in exhilarating extra time victories over Castleisland and Austin Stacks in the previous rounds and more excitement of that nature would be more than welcome after a largely disappointing County Championship.

Milltown/Castlemaine also bring plenty to the table and although the momentum from their own semi-final heroics against Legion may have dwindled somewhat over the many weeks between then and now, they can certainly take heart from that result against one of the pre-tournament favourites.

It’s all set up to be a fascinating match-up and a large crowd is expected in Tralee for this one.

The match will also be streamed live by Clubber.

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Home double header for St Paul’s and Scotts Lakers



The St Paul’s women’s and men’s teams are both in National League action this Saturday at Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre with their games tipping off at 4.30pm and 7.30pm respectively.

James Fleming’s ladies take on the Phoenix Rockets on the back of that disappointing cup exit at the hands of the Cavan Eagles a fortnight ago and they will be keen to get back to winning ways on home turf.

Paul’s have a perfect 100% record in Division 1 but they are sure to be tested by the Rockets, who gave a fine account of themselves over the course of the 2022/23 season.

They beat Paul’s in Lisburn last February, though the Killarney side exacted revenge in the playoffs in March. The Rockets have made an inconsistent start to the 2023/24 campaign picking up just two wins from the seven games played. The second of those victories came as recently last Saturday when they got the better of the Limerick Sport Eagles at home, but they fell to another defeat against the Huskies back up north the following day.

The Rockets are coached by former Ireland player Breda Dick, a woman who cites Killarney’s own Paudie O’Connor as her role model. Paudie was her first coach at international level and obviously left a huge mark on Breda.

Dick will be looking to the McGrath sisters Charly and Georgie to carry the torch for them as well as American signing Jay Ashby.

For Paul’s, Khiarica Rasheed has been building a good understanding with Sofia Paska and they will be keen to work on that partnership again on Saturday. In the absence of Lorraine Scanlon, who will be attending the LGFA All-Stars, Meabh Barry may be pushed up the ladder. Lynn Jones and Rheanne O’Shea will also be expected to play prominent roles.


Under the guidance of Coach Brian Clarke, Scotts Lakers have established a winning record of 4-2 and as a result they find themselves fifth out of 12 teams in Division 1 of the National League.

They claimed their latest win at home to the Dublin Lions last weekend (81-71) with Americans Braden Bell (26) and Terion Moss (25) accounting for the bulk of the scoring. Jamie O’Sullivan, Oisín Spring and Cian Forde also made their mark on the scoreboard.

Coach Brian Clarke was very pleased with the contribution of his subs on the night. “Our bench was ready to come on and make the difference and I can’t emphasis enough the importance of that,” he told club PRO Enda Walshe.

“Braden and Terion are great shot-makers but they also have a sharp eye for passes to their teammates. Oisín Spring, and Paul Clarke in previous games, are alive to that and make themselves available. It’s a great opportunity for our young players to make their mark and provided they continue to dedicate themselves to their craft, they will get to enjoy that.”

Next up for the Lakers is the visit of the Limerick Celtics on Saturday. The Shannonsiders are currently second in Division 1 having won five of their six matches to date.


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