Men’s National Cup semi final
UCC Demons 77
By Tony Leen, Mardyke
ANOTHER capital clash in the offing in the Men’s National Cup final, with Templeogue seeing off the stubborn challenge of UCC Demons Saturday night to tee up a final date with rivals UCD Marian.
Mark Keenan’s side had too much offensive firepower for a stretched Demons outfit, claiming a final berth with a 98-77 victory at the Mardyke Arena.
Templeogue and UCD Marian meet in the Superleague next week in a final dress rehearsal, but for Demons, there are bigger issues to address regarding their future – not that they didn’t test Templeogue’s pulse Saturday night.
That Demons were only a point down at the interval (42-41) was a testament to stubborn defiance. They looked outmatched on defence, with the hot-handed Lorcan Murphy putting the Dublin side in charge with a hat-trick of threes in the first quarter. Throw in Summers (7), Killeen (8) and Bonaparte on six, and it was no surprise Mark Keenan’s side had eased into a 35-26 lead with 6.44 left in
the first half.
But Lehman Colbert had come to play. The four-season Demons centre was unstoppable inside, nailing 19 first half points. A Hosford three kept Demons believing, but Randolph drained from outside with 2.24 left to edge the favourites five in front, 40-35, with 1.35 left.
Colin O’Reilly picked up a third personal foul but the boost they needed when Colbert and then Adrian O’Sullivan went in for buckets.
Third quarter, same narrative. Templeogue on top, with Randolph hitting two threes, 62-55, but the Cork side declining to read the script. A big three from Adrian O’Sullivan – who stepped up hugely in Q3 – made it tight again, and entering the last quarter, Templeogue were still only two up, 64-62.
Eventually the dam burst, with Templeogue unleashing the outside accuracy of Luke Thompson who swished a pair of threes and Killeen followed with a lay-up to push the Dubliners 77-66 up.
Demons called a badly needed time out but to no avail, as the hits kept coming, Luke Thompson and Stephen James nailing five threes between them down the stretch to make it a comfortable last few
minutes for Keenan’s men.
Top scorers for Templeogue: Lorcan Murphy (22), Jason Killeen (20), Stephen James (17)
Top scorers for Demons: Lehmonn Colbert (29), Adrian O’Sullivan (18), Colin O’Reilly (15).