The defending champions went into the game without Roy Downey (ankle) and with Michael McGinn (work) and their battling qualities were tested to maximum.
There were many heroes for Neptune but the performance of captain Ger Noonan was immense. Noonan finished with a 15-point tally but his vision and assists were a sight to behold as coach Mark Scannell praised his entire squad.
“Noonan was awesome but in general this was a team performance as we had to overcome many hurdles to get over this talented Saints side,” Scannell said.
It proved to be a disappointing evening for Saints coach David Donnelly.
“We should have exposed them in the early stages but credit to them they never allowed us lead when we got back at them in the third quarter, and in the end their grit and determination proved too much for us,” said Donnelly.
In the Premier Women’s National Cup, holders UL Huskies saw off the brave challenge of Ulster Rockets 87-64 with Rachael Vanderwal finishing with a game high 28 points.
Team Montenotte were also impressive as they booked their place in the last four disposing of Meteors 78-53.
Killester are being touted as the dark horses of the cup and easily booked their place in the last four courtesy of a 74-42 win over Liffey Celtics.
DCU Mercy came within a whisker of crashing out before edging Singletons Supervalu Brunell 67-65. Brunell pushed them all the way but late baskets from Megan Hoffman broke the hearts of the Cork outfit.
The biggest shock in the Men’s Shield National Cup occurred at Castleisland when St Mary’s beat championship favourites Killester 82-62. Killester eliminated crack Dublin side Swords Thunder in the last round but with Limerick football ace John Galvin (18 points) back in the Castleisland line- up they booked their place in the last four with a truly clinical performance.
In the Premier Men’s League UCC Demons had too much class for UCD Marian in the battle of the colours at the Mardyke Arena. Coming down the stretch Demons pulled away.
Next Saturday they face Killester in Dublin in a battle of two unbeaten sides.