There was cup action all around the country this weekend as the cream of the crop in the men’s and women’s senior and U18s battled it out in the quarter-finals.
Two of the favourites for the senior cup were drawn against each other in Belfast with Ulster Elks taking on Blue Demons. It was the visitors from Cork who settled best, leading by over 20 points for large stretches of the first half and going in at the break up 49-33.
Demons, led by an inspired back court combination of Kyle Hosford and Stephen McCarthy combined for 31 points and led the Cork National League team to a 23-point win on a final score line of 65-88.
Maree of Galway lost in Tralee to a determined St Brendan’s outfit, led by veteran centre Ricardo Leonard who turned back the clock to net 20 points en route to a 60-56 win. Brendan’s Kerry neighbours from Castleisland, Team Garvey’s St Mary’s, also advanced when beating St Vincent’s.
When UCD Marian and Killester locked horns A cagey affair ensued with former SuperLeague star Johnny Grennell emerging the hero with a buzzer beating shot to snatch victory for Killester.
In the U18 Men’s National Cup, two finalists from the U16 All-Ireland final two seasons ago, Moycullen of Galway and KUBS of Dublin, met at the quarter-final stage. The Galwegians started best, leading at the half by seven before a furious KUBS comeback saw them grab a lead for the first time in the fourth quarter.
Moycullen held their nerve however and some big shots late saw them win by five, 55-60.
In Cork, an intriguing affair between Neptune and Letterkenny Blaze outfit saw the Leesiders advance with an impressive 87-64 win while St Vincent’s proved too strong for St Mary’s of Castleisland, winning on the road by 14 points.
On the women’s side, defeated finalists a year ago, Tralee Imperials, continued their outstanding start to the season with a well-deserved victory over Britton’s Insurance Donegal Town. Their win sets up and all-Kerry semi-final as neighbours Team Tom McCarthy’s of Castleisland beat UL Huskies by 16.
The Kerry teams will be joined in the semi-finals by NUIG Mystics who survived a late scare to beat Killester by just three points, and Oblate Dynamos who saw off Firhouse 74-43.
There was a dramatic three-point win for DCU Mercy over Meteors in the U18 Women’s National Cup and will now face Glanmire as the Cork club outlasted St Mary’s of Castleisland.
The other semi-final will see Brunell take on Oblate Basketball Club, who narrowly edged out Tralee 58-52.
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