Connect with us


Three on the bounce for resurgent Lakers



National League: Division 1

Scotts Lakers 80 Fr Mathews 72

Killarney Sports & Leisure Centre

The Lakers’ mid-season revival continue apace. Last Saturday night, before a healthy home crowd, the Killarney side brushed off the cobwebs to overcome a strong Fr Mathews challenge and pick up their third victory on the bounce. The result leaves them just two wins off the playoff spots with seven games still to play.

Due to COVID-related postponements, the Lakers had to wait four weeks for their first game of 2022 and star player Godwin Boahen admitted that the layoff had an effect. “We were a little rusty,” the Canadian told club PRO Enda Walshe. “I missed a few lay-ups that I'd usually get, but I'm really happy with the boys. Once we got playing, we really clicked.”

The 5’11” guard was the Lakers’ top scorer on the night with 32 and he revealed that picking up his first home win in St Paul’s colours was a major motivation. “I lost my first home game in a Lakers vest against the Limerick Eagles, even though that was a game we could have won. I just want to keep playing and keep winning.”


Boahen and his teammates started slowly and allowed Mathews to race into a 7-0 lead. This forced Lakers coach Jarlath Lee to call a timeout and make some adjustments, and his alterations appeared to do the trick. Mark O’Shea and David Gleeson found their range, and Boahen and the returning Marco Benčić hit big threes to give the hosts a 24-22 first-quarter lead.

Emilian Grudov and Boahen kept tagging on points in the second but Mathews, led by the impressive Jonathan Garcia, were putting up a strong fight. By the time the half-time buzzer sounded, the Lakers had increased their lead to seven (42-35).

Baskets by Rui Saravia, Boahen, Gleeson and Grudov stretched that advantage out to 17 in the third. Garcia responded in kind, however, and with Deividas Brazas offering good support off the bench, Mathews went on a 15-3 scoring run. The game was in the melting pot going into the final quarter with Lakers leading by just five (64-59).

The Lakers re-established their dominance in the fourth by opening up a 13-point lead, but some lax free-throw shooting left the door open. With Diego O’Herlihy to the fore, the Cork men managed to cut the gap to four.

It was to be the Lakers’ day, though, and buoyed by their enthusiastic home fans, they steadied the ship to eventually win by eight.

Speaking after the game, Jarlath Lee said he was delighted with the contribution made by the home supporters. "First of all, I want to thank all the fans that were there. Next week we want ye back and even louder.”

Like Boahen, Lee also felt the team were a little rough around the edges early on - and he didn't exclude himself from that assessment. "We were very rusty. In the dressing room at half-time, the team themselves were disappointed about the way they were playing, even though we were up by double figures.

“But we never felt at ease against this [Fr Mathews] team and they proved it by coming back at us twice. My own coaching was poor; I didn't get the rotations right. The big positive is we've won three in a row now. We have a great atmosphere around the squad and that’s a big factor in why we are winning."

The Lakers are at home again this Saturday as they welcome the WIT Vikings to the Killarney Sports & Leisure Centre. Tip-off is at 7.30pm.

LAKERS: Godwin Boahen (32), Emilian Grudov (24), Rui Saravia (11), David Gleeson (4), Mark O'Shea (4), Marko Benčić (3), Jamie O’Sullivan (2), Daniel Carroll, Paul Clarke, Lorcan Keane.

FR MATHEWS: Jonathan Garcia (29), Diego O’Herlihy (15), Darko Bucan (11), David Murray (8), Deividas Brazas (6), Brian O’Neill (3).


Popularity of Ladies Gaelic Football on the rise

According to official TAM Ireland figures, 491,000 tuned into TG4’s coverage of the TG4 Ladies Football finals on Sunday with an average audience of 204,900 people watching the live broadcast […]




According to official TAM Ireland figures, 491,000 tuned into TG4’s coverage of the TG4 Ladies Football finals on Sunday with an average audience of 204,900 people watching the live broadcast of the Senior Final between Meath and Kerry.

The match had a 30.6% share of viewing among individuals. Viewing peaked at 5.10pm with 279,800 viewers as Meath closed in on the two in a row to retain the Brendan Martin Cup.

A total 46,400 attended the match in person in Croke Park on Sunday, the first TG4 Ladies Football Final to have full capacity allowance since 2019.

Viewers from over 50 countries tuned into the finals on the TG4 Player with 14,000 streams of the game from international viewers. Over 20,000 streams were also registered from Irish viewers.

TG4 Director General Alan Esslemont said: “My deepest gratitude to all the counties especially Wexford and Kerry who battled to the end through this season’s Championship, hearty congratulations to both Laois and Meath and I am really looking forward to the re-match of Antrim and Fermanagh which will be carried live on TG4. A special word of thanks goes to the huge crowd which travelled to the Finals from all the corners of Ireland. County Meath especially have become a role model for other counties in how to build huge attending support for LGFA in both genders and at all ages. Sunday’s massive expression of Meath ‘fandom’ in Croke Park brought their county the greatest credit.

Sunday’s broadcast was the 22nd edition of the TG4 Ladies Gaelic Football Championship, a unique history of a sport minoritized by society being championed by a language media minoritized by the state. By consciously standing together we have grown together. As we approach the 50th anniversary of the LGFA in 2024 let us all hope by that time that we are even further along the road towards true equality of opportunity for both Ladies Gaelic Football and Irish language media.”


Continue Reading


Following her World Championships debut, Leahy is hungry for more



Adam Moynihan met Killarney sprinter Sarah Leahy at the Killarney Valley AC Arena to chat about her recent appearance at the World Championships, her goals for the rest of the year, and a very special pair of socks

Hi Sarah. Thanks for showing me around Killarney Valley’s facilities. It’s an impressive set-up.

The track facilities here are perfect. We have everything we need and Killarney Valley are always looking to improve the facilities and the club itself. All the people behind the scenes at are the MVPs, people like Jerry and Tomás Griffin, Jean Courtney, and Bríd Stack to mention just a few.

You recently competed in the World Championships in Oregon as part of the Irish 4 x 100m relay team, finishing eighth in your heat. How did you feel the event went for you?

We’re very proud of each other, and we did well, but we definitely could have run better. We had more. We were aiming for and felt we were capable of running a national record. But on the day, it just didn’t happen.

Personally, it was a great experience. I loved every second of it. But I will admit that the actual running part is a bit of a blur. I came onto the track and there’s this huge stadium, but I was more looking around at the people I was running against. Ewa Swoboda – I thought she’d win the World Indoor – she was four people away from me and I was looking at her… She was probably like, ‘Why is this woman staring at me?’ I was very nervous. But it was still amazing and I hope I can do it again.

The fact that I was running against international athletes that have been to the Olympics and been finalists, I was kind of star struck. My trainers are like, okay Sarah, calm down. You’re meant to be here. Don’t act like you shouldn’t.

Can you describe your mindset before a race? Do you often get nervous?

On the line it’s all about how you’re feeling, what you can do. You just have to get mentally prepared for a good start. Especially for me. Get out, and run as fast as you can. Just getting in the zone, I guess. I’ll know if I’m not in the zone, because I’m thinking of other things. If I’m on the blocks my head shouldn’t be wandering. It should be blank and all I should be waiting for is that gun.

Would you say that you’re an ultra competitive person?

I’m a competitive person, obviously. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be competing at this level. But I also come from a team background, and I’m friends with a lot of these girls, so I want them to do well as well. And if they happen to beat me, fair play. You put in the training, you did very well. I’m very happy for you.

We all kind of get prepared differently. A lot of people for the warm-up, which is an hour or half an hour before the race, have the earphones on, gameface on, not talking to anyone, not smiling at anyone. I’m completely different. The more nervous I am, the more I’m going to talk.

There was a situation in Greece where everyone had their earphones on and I was mad to talk to everyone. That could change but as of right now I do tend to talk a lot. And then, going on to the track, obviously there’s no more talking. You’re getting ready for the race and mentally preparing.

Tell me about the socks you wore in Oregon.

[laughs] My socks were a Valentine’s Day gift from my boyfriend, Daniel. They had his face all over them and they say ‘I love you’. So yeah, I just ran the Worlds with my boyfriend’s face on my feet. He was delighted!

Daniel was the person who pushed for me to go back to running. He knew I was no longer enjoying the football and he heard the way I spoke about athletics. He helped me make the decision to go back. It was the best decision so it was only right I wore the socks and he was there in some way. I probably wouldn’t have been there without him.

Did you have some of your own supporters over there?

Yes, my mom and dad (Marie and Mike) actually travelled over. They spent the week and it was unreal to have them there. And then my cousins from Vancouver in Canada drove down which was I think over 10 hours. I was actually warming up before the relay and then I saw and heard my family with all their Kerry jerseys, Irish jerseys, Irish flags, roaring my name. That was really nice.

What’s the plan for the rest of 2022?

I was hopeful that we were going to send a 4 x 100 relay team to the Europeans but I just got an email saying that we wouldn’t, which is disappointing. I know some of top 2022 female sprinters aren’t available but some are and with any of them we would do well over there. We would be competitive. We held our qualification of being in the top 16 teams all summer so it’s a pity that, at the last second, we aren’t going.

In saying that, the women’s Irish relay will continue to work hard and we have a lot more to give. We will prove that next year.

You’re moving to Dublin for work later this year. How will this affect your training?

I might have to change coaches again, which I’m a bit sad about because I really liked the Limerick training group (Leahy was in UL where she trained with the Hayley and Drew Harrison). I think I performed well and I loved the training. I was surrounded by the right people who were really lovely. I hope to find a group like that in Dublin and keep running well and performing better.

And what about next season?

I’d like another good indoor season. I was talking to Lauren Roy in Stockholm and she told me that I have the European standard in the 60m from last year. Which I didn’t know! So that’s kind of in my head now to try and get there, to improve my time. I think I could actually run faster. I ran 7.39 and I’d like to run at least 7.30, hopefully get another European standard, and actually go to the Europeans. I think it’s in Germany. That’d be my target.

And then next summer, there’s the Worlds again. So it’d be nice to continue making the Irish relays and definitely improve my time, because there’s more. I can definitely run faster over 100.

What is your current PB in the 100m? Are you close to bettering it?

I ran 11.67, which I was delighted with. But it was my first run of the season. It’s quite rare that you run a PB in the season opener. But I ran it, and I haven’t ran it since. The closest was 11.70 in Switzerland. So I definitely think there’s more in there. And I think I have a lot to learn as well. I’m still new to the sport and I’m a powerful kind of runner. I was doing a lot of gym work at the beginning of the year, before I ran my PB, and then afterwards usually people taper it off. So I did what other people do. I think that affected my running a little bit. I’m slightly weaker. So I’ve learned that maybe next year I shouldn’t do that. Then hopefully I’ll be running PB after PB, instead of just a one-off.

Onwards and upwards. Chat to you again soon.

Thanks Adam!


Continue Reading