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Rejuvenated Lakers and improving Cougars to meet in Killarney derby

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National League: Division 1

Scotts Lakers v Killarney Cougars

Saturday at 7.30pm

Killarney Sports & Leisure Centre

Killarney's two men's National League teams will go head-to-head on Saturday night as Scotts Lakers and the Killarney Cougars clash at the Killarney Sports & Leisure Centre.

The Lakers are enjoying a mid-to-late-season revival and after last weekend's victory over the Limerick Sport Eagles, they currently find themselves in fifth place in the Southern Conference.

The top four teams will qualify for the playoffs so Jarlath Lee's team are very much in the hunt, but time is running out. Saturday night's meeting with their near neighbours will be their second last game of the regular season. The fact that the fourth placed team, the Limerick Celtics, have two games in hand is also a cause for concern.

All the Lakers can do is win their remaining fixtures and hope for the best.

Reflecting on their most recent victory, coach Jarlath Lee said his team performed well on both sides of the ball.

"We shot the ball really well and we have to give special praise to the team’s defence for keeping one of the league’s top scorers (Manny Payton) to just 17 points.

“David Gleeson was a huge loss for us but the bench really stepped up. Jamie O’Sullivan, Senan O’Leary, Paul Clarke and Marko Benčić all played their part when we really needed them. If I was to be hyper-critical, I'd say we missed a few easy lay-ups, but overall you'd have to be very happy.”

Lee confirmed that Gleeson should be fit again for Saturday’s derby match-up.

COUGARS

The Cougars, meanwhile, are hoping to finish off their debut season at National League level with a flourish. They waited a long time for their first win of the campaign but they were impressive in a pair of recent home wins. Another positive result in their final two fixtures could see them overtake WIT at the foot of the table.

Head coach Ignas Sijanas told the Killarney Advertiser he is looking forward to the challenge that the Lakers are going to bring.

“These kinds of games are always exciting. Derbies are fun. They bring the best out of the players.

“The Lakers a good team, very well-balanced. At the moment they are playing nice basketball. The last game against the Eagles showed how strong they are. Obviously, we are going in as underdogs but we will try to come up with some plans and some ideas. We’ll try to bring a good fight.

“We’re going to bring a different team to the one we had in the first derby game (the Lakers beat the Cougars 89-66 in December). I think we have definitely improved, especially after the two recent wins. That has given us more confidence.

“The season was a big rollercoaster but I’m happy. It’s better to have season like this for the first season. It shows the weaknesses, it shows the strengths, it helps you to see what the team looks like in general. We lost some players. We brought some new players in. It has been a long process for us with some bad moments, but also with some good moments. In general, it was a very positive season in terms of growth and learning and finding our identity as a team.

“The young guys made a step forward, some players built their confidence, and we got Rich Dunham in. I hope we can keep him for next season. And we know exactly what we need to add to look even better next year.”

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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 […]

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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

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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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