In a game where the three referees often took centre stage, Demons player coach Colin O’Reilly spoke of his displeasure with the officiating.
O’Reilly said: “This was our 13th consecutive league win and I never once in this campaign had reason to speak about officials, but today these guys blew 14 fouls on us in the opening half and that totally put us out of our stride.”
Demons looked a little ring rusty after their cup heroics but still managed to lead 41-34 at the interval. In the second half the Cork side always looked likely winners and despite Killester reducing the deficit to six points, the class of Demons’ American Lehmon Colbert got them over the line.
Travelodge Swords Thunder had a magnificent 90-84 away win against Templeogue with Spanish star Juan Torres shooting a game high 30 points.
Swords have only lost one game and with a home game looming on Saturday against C & S UCC Demons, coach Dave Baker believes it could well be a title decider.
“The only way we can keep the league race open is to defeat Demons but that’s easier said than done and we will need to produce a season best,” Baker said.
UCD Marian put their National Cup defeat behind them when easily beating Belfast Star 82-71 with Preston Ross finishing with a game high 26 points.
The students led 48-37 at the break and despite Ricky Taylor putting in another solid performance for the northerners they were always chasing the game.
UL Eagles easily accounted for Dublin Inter as a 24-point contribution from Neil Campbell saw the Shannonsiders win hold out for a 74-61 win.
The season gets worse for BFG Neptune and player coach Ger Noonan as they lost their sixth consecutive league, this time away to DCU Saints 83-73.
In the Women’s Premier League, leaders and cup champions Team Montenotte played without captain Claire Rockall, Marie Breen and Aine McKenna but still managed to beat Meteors 75-56.
Once again the class of Dwyer sisters, Niamh and Gráinne, came to the fore as the Cork side battled hard to win much to the relief of coach Mark Scannell.
“To be down three starters and win is a huge boost to the team and I am delighted with the overall performance of the my squad,” Scannell said.
Second placed Liffey Celtics were dealt a huge blow at Leixlip when they were defeated by Singleton’s Supervalu Brunell 63-50.
The Kildare side, without Megan Hoffman who will undergo surgery in their damaged knee this week, were always chasing the game as the rampant Cork side kept their title challenge on track.
For Brunell coach Kieran O’Leary this was a performance his side needed, as they get ready to host DCU Mercy on Sunday.
O’Leary said: “We haven’t lost a game since the first week of November and ironically it was to Liffey Celtics on our home court, but when you hold a team to 50 points on their home court you are doing something right in defence.”