Ballincollig will face Killorglin in the Hula Hoops President’s Cup Final following a magnificent win over Scott Lakers Killarney at the Neptune Stadium on Saturday.
The Cork side will be playing in their first final in this grade as coach Kieran O’Sullivan praised his troops.
O’Sullivan said: “I am delighted in the manner we executed from start to finish but we will need to move up a level if we are to win this championship.”
The Ballincollig coach believes his side are progressing as many of them have never played at this level before but as the season is maturing they are improving.
“It will be a huge occasion for our club and one I am sure all concerned will enjoy the experience of being part of national finals weekend.”
The mood in the Lakers camp was naturally one of huge disappointment as coach Cormac O’Donoghue reflected on his team’s loss.
“We didn’t play well enough and credit to Ballincollig they were superb at both ends of the court. This is our first season back playing at national league level and I am sure the lads will learn from this experience.”
St Paul’s came out of the blocks with all guns blazing and soon commanded a six-point lead. Ballincollig were struggling to stay the pace in the opening exchanges but soon got to grips with the Lakers intensity.
The Cork side had both Ronan and Ciaran O’Sullivan executing key baskets as they led 22-19 entering the second quarter.
Ballincollig’s American Cameron Clark showed quality on the restart as they surged into a 16-point interval lead.
Clark continued to dominate on both sides of the floor as his darting moves to the hoop posed the Lakers numerous problems.
Ballincollig basically drained shot after shot and with the Kerry side struggling to contain the various scoring threats it was no surprise they trailed 79-53 entering the fourth quarter.
The trend changed little with both sides continuing to play high-tempo basketball coming down the stretch.
Try as they did the Lakers, despite hitting big shots, couldn’t reduce the deficit as Ballincollig responded with monstrous shots outside the perimeter.
In the end the shooting of Ballincollig’s key men Ciaran and Ronan O’Sullivan, Clark and Dylan Corkery ensured that they ran out comfortable 24-point winners.
Cameron Clark 39, Ciaran O’Sullivan 18, Ronan O’Sullivan 18.
Scotts Lakers Killarney Top scorers:
Antuan Bootle 29, Padraig Lucey 12, Dalian Mason 12.
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