What a change of fortune for the Cork club who were Superleague champions for the past two seasons under player coach Colin O’Reilly and also managed to secure seven of the nine major titles on offer.
On Saturday, they only managed nine points in the opening quarter with Swords chipping in with an impressive 31. So after dominating the top flight of basketball for the past three years what’s gone wrong at Demons?
First of the all the failure to bring back American Lehmon Colbert for a fourth term was a major error. Coach Tim O’Halloran wanted to freshen things up but the reality now is that Colbert’s replacement, Jacob Lawson, looks out of his depth in this league.
The statistics don’t lie as he contributed four points against Belfast Star, three in their defeat to Tralee Warriors and 11 in this latest loss.
Credit to Swords Thunder they played superb basketball as coach Dave Baker reflected on his team’s performance.
“We got demolished by Demons earlier in the season but I would have never have envisaged beaten them by 40 points on the return fixture.”
Admitted Demons coach O’Halloran: “Saturday night was a bit of a nightmare to be honest. We’re struggling now, and losing Kyle [Hosford] to injury has been a big blow. To lose by 40 points was – well there are no words for it. I’m not happy with it at all.
“We knew at half time that we couldn’t compete with Swords’ firepower – Narbon is excellent and along with Westbrooks too, it was difficult. It was very tough going, they went up by 30 points half way through the second and our heads went down. Now we just need to regroup and look at our tactics again going forward.”
Killester maintained their recent good run when defeating Moycullen 90-84 in a competitive game at the NUIG.
The Clontarf side were pushed all the way despite commanding a 45-40 interval lead but a 27 point contribution from Ciaran Roe helped them run out six point winners.
UCD Marian were impressive 87-64 winners over Belfast Star at Belfield with Dustan Moreira leading their scoring on 22 points.
Kieran Donaghy (20) was in impressive form for Garvey’s Tralee Warriors as the Kerry side saw off the challenge of Kubs 67-57 at a packed Tralee Sports complex. The Warriors are having an impressive season and coach Mark Bernsen believes this campaign will be a stepping stone for his side.
“Many of the players I have haven’t experienced playing at this level but I think we will take many positives and build on it going forward.”
Martin Provizors (24) led the scoring for DCU Saints when they defeated UL Eagles 78-69 in Limerick.
Leaders Templeogue were given a rare fright yesterday before eventually overcoming Eanna 82-74. Eanna led 43-38 at the break but a second half revival from Templelogue ensured their unbeaten league record remains intact.
In the Women’s Super League champions Team Ambassador UCC Glanmire continued their unbeaten record this season when accounting for Portlaoise Panthers 55-51.
In their first game at the Mardyke Arena the champions were pushed to the wire but once again the shooting skills of Gráinne Dwyer (18) got them over the line as they ran out 55-51 winners.
Glanmire coach Mark Scannell was naturally happy with the result as he reflected on his team’s performance.
“Our defence was excellent but too many shots failed to drop for us and in the end they pushed us hard.”
The big shock in the Women’s Super league this season occurred at Gurranbraher yesterday when struggling Singletons Supervalu Brunell defeated cup finalists Liffey Celtics 63-55.
Trailing by 15 points at the break the Cork side looked in trouble but a magnificent second half revival secured them a valuable win.
Said head coach Francis O’Sullivan: “We’re really happy with that result. We’re after recovering well from what was a very difficult week for all of us in the club after a fairly comprehensive loss to Glanmire in the Cup. We did a great week’s work and we could have crumbled when we went 15 down, but we hung in there and put in a great performance.
“Liffey Celtics were without Emma O’Connor which was difficult for them, but our girls stepped up and we threw everything at them so we’re really pleased and have a lot to look forward to now.”
DCU Mercy got back to winning ways when overcoming fellow Dublin side Meteors 65-45.
In the rescheduled Women’s Intermediate Cup semi-final, Limerick Celtics defeated Monaghan side Muckno Lakers 74-64 with the Celtics stalwart Michelle Aspell finishing with a game-high 31 points.