The clash with Swords Thunder at the Mardyke Arena yesterday saw Demons produce champagne basketball before winning in a canter 106-87.
UCC Demons went into the game minus Roy Downey and with player coach Colin O’Reilly carrying a hand injury many pundits felt this was the game that would test their resolve.
The Cork side had Kyle Hosford ejected from the game in the 18th minute for his second technical foul that resulted from a blatant foul committed on the Demons player when attempting a slam dunk.
Luckily Demons held their nerve but player coach O’Reilly wasn’t a happy camper at the end of the game.
“We are supposed to be happy coming off court happy when we win by double figures but something needs to be done with referees who stop officiating when a team builds a big lead on their opponents,” O’Reilly said.
Demons, without coach O’Reilly and Downey, had little problem in disposing of Eanna 93-72 in the first of two weekend games.
Swords Thunder began the weekend with a home clash against Moycullen and eased to an 81-67 win.
This game was decided in the opening half when Swords surged into 21-point lead and despite the best efforts of the westerners they were always chasing the game coming down the stretch.
Joint leaders Templeogue were pushed hard in the second-half before eventually winning 79-70 at UCD Marian.
In a superb opening half Templeogue played superb basketball and with Lorcan Murphy finishing with a game high 25 points they surged into a 44-29 lead.
The students improved in the second-half but Templeogue stayed in control much to the relief of coach Mark Keenan.
“This game was always a potential banana skin but I thought the lads played outstanding defence in the first-half that set the tone for our win,” Keenan said.
Killester had to come from behind to defeat UL Eagles after trailing 46-44 at the interval.Credit to the Clontarf side they restricted their opponents to 21 points in the second-half and ran out 79-65 winners.
There was a major shock in the Women’s Premier League when Waterford Wildcats defeated Killester 80-72 at Clontarf.
In recent weeks the Deise side have shown remarkable improvement as coach Michael Evans, in his first season coaching in this championship, was delighted in the manner his players battled from start to finish.
“We showed a lot of bottle out there this evening against a top class Killester side and I am hoping this will boost us for the crucial games we are facing in the next month,” Michael said.
Champions Team Montenotte were tested on their home court but an injury to American Chantelle Alford tarnished their 70-56 win over Portlaoise Panthers.
It has been a good week for Montenotte’s coach Mark Scannell fresh from his appointment as new head coach of Irish Senior Women’s team but he is concerned with the injury to Alford.
“Chantelle was playing great defence but took a nasty knock on the shin and we will not know the extent of her injury until she has a scan,” Scannell said.
UL Huskies produced a season best to defeat Meteors with Kelsey Harris finishing with 24 points for the Shannon siders.
DCU Mercy got back to winning ways when defeating Singleton’s Supervalu Brunell 82-69 with Sarah Woods finishing with a game high 27 points.