Saints remain in control of league

With both National Cups on display at UL it was back to league action at the weekend as DCU Saints consolidated their top spot in the Nivea for Men SuperLeague Northern Division with a 82-63 win over Belfast Star.

The Saints were hot favourites and appeared in complete control leading by 20 points at the break but coach, David Donnelly, was unhappy with the way his side let their standards slip in the third quarter.

“We had a poor third quarter and they pressurised us,” he said.

“We can play much better. They were missing Paul Cummins so that weakened them. We have a few difficult away games on the horizon and it’s crucial we get top spot and have home advantage in the play-offs.”

DCU Saints’ Dublin rivals 11890 Killester made light work of UCD Marian, winning 93-54 to maintain the pressure at the top of the Northern Conference and give their coach, Darren O’Neill, a welcome boost.

“It was very important to get those wins particularly after those defeats,” O’Neill said. “It was also important to get the points considering Pete Madsen is out through injury. The win assures us of second and we can push for that top spot.”

Bord Gáis Neptune’s hopes of getting home advantage in the play-offs remain on track after their 62-53 win at home to Moycullen.

Neptune’s American Ron Thompson was to the fore, scoring 25 points, while Phil Taylor and Ger Noonan also impressed.

“It was a tough win but we are delighted to get it,” Neptune coach, Mark Scannell, said.

“They had no American, which didn’t help their cause but I am delighted with our defensive effort, restricting them to just 53 points, which is pleasing. We have five games left and the focus is on getting that place in the semi-finals.”

DCU Mercy put Friday’s Cup final defeat behind them with a 72-64 win away to Singleton’s Super Valu Brunell in the Women’s SuperLeague.

Team Montenotte Hotel Cork underscored their intentions for the remainder of the season with a 20-point win over Oblate Dynamos with Grainne Dwyer, Claire Rockall and Niamh Dwyer starring as the Cork giants maintained the pressure on the newly crowned National Cup champions UL.

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