Ireland u18s book spot in European Championship semi-finals

Ireland 87 - 70 Moldova

Ireland u18 men’s team has booked their place in the FIBA European Championships Division C semi-finals today, following a huge 87-70 point win over Moldova.

Nate Moore in action for Ireland.

The win sees Ireland top their group unbeaten, with four wins in-a-row in the group stages and now, they go on to face the host nation and one of the tournament favourites Kosovo in a semi-final showdown on Saturday evening.

Limerick’s Nate Moore was one of the stand-out performers for the Irish today, finishing the game with eight three-pointers (24 points).

It was an all-round great team performance as Ireland took the reins of the game from very early on, stamping their authority on proceedings in the opening quarter with big scores from Eoin Nelson, Paul Kelly and Nate Moore putting them into a 30-13 lead at the end of the first.

They continued to assert their dominance in the second quarter, with Jay Kavanagh, Nate Moore and Cillian O’Driscoll getting on the scoring with some great finishes and, despite big play under the boards from Moldova, Ireland still held a commanding lead at half time, 49-33.

The third and fourth quarters followed in the same fashion, with Moore continuing to fire home some big threes, and scores from Oisin Rice, Conor Liston and Darragh O’Sullivan driving Ireland home in style to top their group and book a semi-final spot ona final scoreline of 87-70.

Speaking afterwards, head coach Paul Kelleher stated: “That was a nice win today and we’re very happy with the result. Our goal was to top the group, and now we’re into a semi-final.

It’s a high standard tournament, we’ve had to fight for everything. Now we’re facing the home nation on Saturday - it's a hostile crowd with TV, so it’ll be a big occasion for us. It’s something we’re going to have to learn to deal with over the next 36 hours and we’ll prepare well for it.

Ireland has a rest day tomorrow before playing their semi-final on Saturday evening.

- Digital Desk

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