Neptune banish their Demons

IT MAY have taken three games, but it was worth waiting for as Bord Gais Neptune finally buried the UCC Demons bogey with a 73-62 victory in the NIVEA for MEN Super League before a full house at Neptune Stadium on Saturday night.

Demons wanted to consolidate their position and now travel to Limerick midweek for a rescheduled game with Neptune breathing down their necks.

Apart from the fact they are not performing at their best on the road they also have casualties from Saturday night’s game, American, Marcus Van nursing a knee injury and Niall Murphy also a concern. But this was an exciting performance from Neptune. Michael Bonaparte hit the game high of 23 points and Michael McGinn, who missed the previous derby game, combined with Phil Taylor for 28 points.

Neptune led by six points at half time but the game was in the balance until the final quarter when Neptune took control of the boards and netted 30 points with Marcus Van now in foul trouble and watching from the courtside.

If Neptune build on this performance they will be contenders come the business end of things and it was hardly surprising coach Pat Price was singing their praises.

“The fact we held Demons to 62 points speaks volumes about our defence and the persistence we showed in the fourth quarter was remarkable,” he said praising the combined contribution of Phil Taylor and Michael McGinn and the dominance of Jermaine Kamara who nabbed 16 rebounds.

“Kamara probably changed the game for us,” he said. “To get that many rebounds would most definitely have an impact on the score. It’s tough to play a derby for three games but I am delighted with the win and the fact that we have some momentum heading into March.”

DCU Saints recorded their fifth win of 2011 with a 78-68 victory over Moycullen who couldn’t find an answer to Saints’ James Donnelly who hit 20 points. “At this point, we are counting down the games until the play offs as that is where we want to be,” DCU coach, Vinny O’Keeffe, said.

Newly crowned Cup champions, UCD Marian got back on the winning trail with an 83-77 victory away to Belfast Star, showing true grit to come back from an eight point deficit late in the first-half. “It was a great win and we are just relived,” coach Fran Ryan said. “We were down with three minutes to go and to come back and win by six is a great feat.”

Defending champions, 11890 Killester, cruised to a 91-67 victory over Ulster Elks despite Elks’ Ben De La Cruz scoring personal tally of 36 points.

In the Women’s Super League, UL moved the top of the table with an 87-52 victory over champions and National Cup finalists, Team Montenotte Hotel Cork.

UL had five players on double digits in the triumph while Team Montenotte struggled to find their footing without the experienced Marie Breen, who was forced to sit out with an injury.

“The players have put in hard work over the last few weeks and I am really happy with how well everyone played,” UL coach James Weldon said. “Each game we try to get better and we have a few more tough games coming up. The most important thing is to secure home court advantage for the play offs.”

Waterford Wildcats put it up to the cup champions, DCU Mercy, who were happy to come away with a narrow 64-61 victory.

DCU Mercy coach, Mark Ingle, expressed his concern for his side’s difficulty to maintain focus after a National Cup victory.

“This happened last year that we didn’t come out after the Cup Final and stay focused,” he said. “I always warn the team that they can’t be complacent but we weren’t very solid on defence and we allowed Waterford to take control.”

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