A tremendous late rally by a depleted Coughlan C&S Neptune side secured them maximum points (80-74) over DCU Saints following a titanic battle at the DCU Complex on Saturday. Neptune, minus American player-coach Lehmon Colbert and Spanish ace Nil Sabata, looked in trouble coming down the stretch when trailing 72-65 with 3.44 remaining.
The Cork side responded to the wake-up call and a magnificent closing period sealed the deal against all the odds. Consecutive baskets from Gary Walsh, Cian Heaphy, and Kyle Hosford killed off Saints — who were without Martins Provizors — as coach Lehmon Colbert praised the courage of his Cork side.
Colbert said: “I couldn’t play because of an injury to my elbow and with Nil Sabata nursing a knee ailment it was a test for us, but the guys stood up to the test and I am over the moon with the grit we showed.”
After consecutive defeats, Eanna got their show back on the road when defeating UCD Marian 92-82 at Belfield. The newly promoted side laid the foundation for their win with a solid first half and with Neil Lynch (18) leading their scoring, they held out for a crucial win.
Due to football commitments with Austin Stacks, Kieran Donaghy sat out Garvey’s Tralee Warriors impressive 87-67 win over Maree at Oranmore but Eoin Quigley returning from injury led their scoring with a 21-point contribution.
The biggest shock of the weekend saw Moycullen defeat Griffith College Templeogue 75-70. Moycullen almost slipped Neptune in their previous game but on this occasion, they showed incredible intensity to inflict a fourth defeat of the season on their Dublin opponents.
For coach John Cunningham it was a job well done against a side that’s being touted as championship contenders. “I am proud of my players as we allowed Neptune snatch the game from us last week, but we recovered and our effort from start to finish was phenomenal.”
The mood in the Templeogue camp was one of sheer disappointment as coach Mark Keenan was mystified after his sides latest defeat. Keenan said:
Keane’s SuperValu Killorglin have certainly turned their season around and Killester was the latest scalp for the Kerry side, winning 88-79. Superb contributions from Rami Ghanem (26) and Darragh Jones (16) helped Colin O’Reilly’s side to their fifth win of the campaign.
Belfast Star are certainly on a roll as they easily accounted for Abbey Seals Dublin Lions 91-71 at De La Salle College. The signing of American Ben Marello has lifted the northerners, leading their scoring on 27 points as coach Adrian Fulton reflected on another impressive home performance.
Fulton said: “We are playing solid basketball and I couldn’t be happier with the moral in my team but our next game at Neptune will give us a good indication of our progress to date.”
In the Women’s Super League, leaders DCU Mercy produced an awesome display at Killester when demolishing the Clontarf outfit 81-50. The first half was competitive with both teams playing smart basketball but DCU held a 40-33 lead entering the third quarter.
Defence played a major part in DCU getting on top as they restricted Killester to a mere three points to surge into a 28-point lead. The game was now done and dusted, and coach Mark Ingle was thrilled his side had come out on top in emphatic fashion.
“Killester on their home court are a tough team to crack and it took a magnificent third quarter from my team that eventually killed them off and I couldn’t be happier with this result.”
Champions Liffey Celtics are having a disappointing season and it continued when they lost at home to Maxol WIT Wildcats 80-71.
The game hung in the balance up to the end of the third quarter with Celtics leading by the minimum, but the Kildare side were outscored 30-19 in the last period that secured Wildcats a crucial win. Ambassador UCC Glanmire were made to battle hard at Marble City Hawks before eventually securing a 72-60 win.
Maree produced another stunning home performance when disposing of Fr Mathews 79-73. The Galway side welcomed back former Irish international stalwart Michelle Fahy who contributed 10 points with American Carly McLendon (25) leading their scoring. Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell got back to winning ways when easily disposing of IT Carlow 81-61.