On Saturday night, UL Eagles and Moycullen’s match up in Limerick shifted attention west. Last season saw some memorable encounters between the teams with two games being decided by a single basket.
Keen to reassert their dominance over the only other west of Ireland team in the league, Eagles jumped into an early lead that they never relinquished, running out deserving winners on a scoreline of 78-62.
The win maintains Eagles’ 100% record and leaves them at the top of the Nivea For Men’s Superleague, alongside the team they defeated in last year’s cup final, UCC Demons.
DCU Saints once again put in an exceptionally strong second-half performance to overcome Killester away from home in the Dublin derby.
“It was a similar enough game to last weekend’s against Moycullen where it was nip and tuck in the first half and then we had an excellent third quarter again. Our defensive intensity was brilliant in the second half,” said DCU head coach Dave Donnelly after the game.
Donnelly noted that while his team had spoken about what they felt was an advantage for them inside, they did not exploit their greater height and bulk early in the game.
“After half time, we got the ball inside a lot more and got good post up plays for Mike Trimmer and Pat Glover. Then Mark Nagle, who came off the bench for us, heated up and it really opened things up. He ended up with three or four three pointers which was a great boost.’’
In the Nivea Women’s Superleague Meteors got their first win of the 2012/13 campaign with a four-point victory over north Dublin rivals Killester.
In what victorious coach Hugh Kilbride described as a “dour defensive battle”, Meteors managed to persevere when baskets were a rarity for both teams, scraping out an important 39-35 win.
The win is a particularly sweet one for Meteors, who have been on the wrong side of a number of close losses to their neighbours Killester in the past few seasons, as coach Kilbride was without the services of his Australian centre, Hannah Pickford, for the contest.
Meanwhile, UL continued their incredible unbeaten streak that currently stretches back over 12 months with a 61-34 victory over a young Singleton Supervalu Brunell team.
In attempting to explain his side’s superb level of consistency, UL head coach James Weldon was quick to credit the leadership within the squad from his senior players.
“The leadership at training every night from Rachel [Vanderwall] and Michelle [Fahy] is great. After the summer Rachel has had, playing in the Olympics, you might think she would feel like a break but her effort has been fantastic. The same goes for Michelle who has achieved so much in her career, but the hunger for more is still there.”
In yesterday’s only game, DCU Mercy recorded their second straight win in the Nivea Women’s Superleague with a 53-point victory over a struggling Liffey Celtics side.