Eagles recorded a 73-86 win at Demons’ Mardyke Arena with Taylor the leading scorers with 33 points. The victory comes just nine days after Eagles lost their SuperLeague Cup crown to Bord Gais Neptune.
“It is a huge boost for us to get the win and have the better head-to-head over Demons,” said Eagles coach Mark Keenan.
“We said all week, ‘this is in our hands and we need to take it one game at a time and that if we win out we win the league’” said Keenan.
Both teams entered the game with only three losses and had one won and lost one in the head-to-head matchups. The win for Eagles puts them firmly in the driving seat entering the final month of games in the SuperLeague.
Bord Gais Neptune kept the pressure on the top two with a nine point victory over fourth placed DCU Saints in Cork on Saturday night.
Keen to avoid an emotional let-down after their memorable SuperLeague Cup triumph the weekend before, Neptune benefited from a second half surge that eventually saw them snatch victory away from the visitors.
“We had a fairly lethargic start to the game and first half overall really,” said Neptune coach Mark Scannell, who earlier in the week had commented that if his team were to have any chance at winning the League, winning all their remaining home games is a must.
“We regrouped a bit after being down at the half but never really got going or played to the heights we have recently. It was anyone’s game right up the last minute,” said a relieved Scannell after the game.
While Neptune, Demons and Eagles look set for an epic struggle for the Nivea For Men’s SuperLeague title, there is an intriguing battle developing for fourth place and the last spot in the end of season Champions Trophy.
Saints currently lie fourth but, after their loss to Neptune, have opened the door to Killester, Moycullen and Dublin Inter, all of whom are well within reach of catching them.
In the Nivea Women’s SuperLeague, Meteors and Ulster Rockets both served notice of their intentions with strong home wins that kept them right in the thick of the play-off race.
In Belfast, Ulster Rockets had the experience to see off a gutsy performance from the young Singleton SuperValu Brunell team, whose top scorer Edel Thornton (28 points) played the weekend before in the U18 National Cup.
Their greater size was just part of the reason for the northerners’ 75-64 win. Led by an in-form Meghan Houlihan, Rockets forced Brunell into a box and one defence that left gaps for other players as the home side controlled the lead from start to finish.
For Meteors of Dublin, it was another hard-fought win over their neighbours Killester overturning a first quarter nine-point deficit to win by a convincing 18 points by the final whistle.
“The final score is a little bit unfair on Killester I think but there was no argument I feel that we were the better team on the night,” said Meteors head coach Hugh Kilbride.
Elsewhere in the Nivea Women’s SuperLeague, it was another tough weekend for the struggling Liffey Celtics team as they dropped games to DCU Mercy on Saturday before falling to Team Montenotte Hotel Cork yesterday.