Eagles need ‘minor miracle’ to retain title

UL Eagles coach Mark Keenan was left bitterly disappointed after his side went down 100-88 to Killester in a highly entertaining Premier Men’s league clash at the UL Arena.

Eagles need ‘minor miracle’ to retain title

The Shannonsiders had three previous defeats behind them and after this latest loss coach Keenan feels the title is now looking beyond his troops.

“I honestly feel this was a must-win game for us, but, credit to Killester, they played smooth basketball and deserved their win,” he said.

“It will take a minor miracle for us to retain our title as we are now four games off Demons and three off Killester. But I am confident we can bounce back in the New Year.”

The Clontarf side laid the foundation for their win with a stunning first half that saw them surge into a 55-41 lead.

Limerick side were always chasing the game in the second half and Killester coach Jonathon Grennell paid tribute to his troops.

“We played some very disciplined basketball and I am very happy to have won the game as this was a potential banana skin,” he said.

The win was crucial for Killester, who were without star point guard Isaac Westbrooks. However, his replacement, Robbie Clarke, shot 18 points.

DCU Saints gained revenge for their recent National cup quarter-final defeat by Bord Gáis Neptune when demolishing the Cork side 96-56 at the DCU Complex.

Leading 48-24 at the interval, Saints piled on the pressure coming down the stretch, much to the delight of coach Dave Donnelly.

“We never turned up in Cork when we played them in the cup quarter-final but, as bad as we were, I felt we left that game behind us,” said Donnelly.

“This was our best performance of the season and now we have to take that form with us for the remaining games of the campaign as I feel we will have a big say in the destination of the title.”

Eoin Darling finished with a game high 23 points as Neptune were left to rue an inept display.

Assistant coach Ronan O’Sullivan summed up the mood in the camp. “To be defeated by 40 points by any team is something that’s not associated with Neptune teams but we will take it on the chin and work on the errors displayed in his game.”

C & S UCC Demons made it nine consecutive wins when defeating Moycullen 98-64 to head into 2014 at the summit of the league.

The Cork side laid the foundation for their victory with a stunning first-half display that saw them surge into a 65-26 lead.

In the second half it was a case of going through the motions for Demons, with many fringe players getting more court time, as Moycullen were allowed late consolation baskets.

“When you have a 39 point interval lead it can be hard to keep players focused but we basically did what we had to early in the game,” said player-coach Colin O’Reilly.

In the Women’s Premier League, Team Montenotte had little difficulty disposing of Liffey Celtics 87-53, with captain Gráinne Dwyer finishing with a game high 16 points.

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