O’Reilly wins it for Demons

Bord Gais Neptune 72 UCC Demons 74

This game had everything and the packed attendance were treated to a classic from start to finish.

Defence was the priority in the opening quarter but Neptune had the better start and when Michael McGinn drove to the hoop in the fifth minute the home side edged into a six points lead.

Credit to Demons’ American Delwan Graham who was highly active in this period, but with both teams struggling in the offence court it was no surprise Neptune led 15-12 entering the second period.

Demons upped the tempo on the restart and with Carlton Cuff showing nice touches they levelled the game in the 15th minute. Neptune responded to the wake-up call and with American Darren Townes finding his touch they controlled the game in the closing minutes to the interval.

Gary Walsh proved the Neptune hero in the closing seconds as he shot a magnificent three pointer that saw the Blackpool side lead 36-30 at the interval. Demons regrouped at the break and responded in style with baskets from Cuff and O’Reilly.

When Demons needed inspiration it came courtesy of Cuff and with American Graham dominating the boards they edged into a 55-51 lead heading into the final quarter.

The visitors looked to be taking total control when a Shane Duggan basket extended their lead to seven points with two minutes remaining. Neptune found another gear and responded with the next three baskets that included a monstrous Walsh three pointer.

The game looked to be heading for extra-time until O’Reilly was allowed go coast to coast for the all-important winning basket.

UCC Demons top scorers: 74: D Graham 25, C Cuff 23, S Coughlan 10

Bord Gais Neptune: D Towers 25, I McLoughlin 16, M McGinn 10.

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