Michael Bonaparte in final race against time, says Mark Keenan

Men’s Premier Cup semi-final: Templeogue booked an all-Dublin final against Swords Thunder in the Men’s Premier Cup following a hard earned 61-59 win over Killester at the Mardyke Arena on Saturday.

In a low-scoring tactical game, Templeogue trailed for most of the game, but found their stride coming down the stretch with an 11-point run.

Templeogue coach Mark Keenan knows his side had to dig very deep to progress, having started without American Michael Bonaparte:

“You could see we were tired at the end of the game but luckily Killester were in the same boat and thankfully we just had enough in the tank when the game hung in the balance,” Keenan said.

The injury to Bonaparte is worrying for Templeogue but Keenan said the club will do everything possible to get him fit for the showpiece.

“To win this game without Michael is testament to the strength in depth we have at this club and hopefully he will be ready to play in the final.”

Killester looked destined for a place in the decider when Paul Dick nailed a three pointer and then went coast-to-coast to make it 57-51 with five minutes remaining.

But they managed just one more basket in the remaining minutes as Templeogue fought their way back into the game.

Limerick man Jason Killeen, who matched Jermaine Turner for rebounding, drew the sides level with a reverse lay-up, before Stephen James hit a deep two with 1.30 remaining on the clock.

Killeen, who has spent the entire season on the bench before returning last week, was over the moon that his side saw off the battling Killester side.

“They had us on the ropes in the first half but we have won a lot of close games this year and I think it really stood to us,” Killeen said Killester coach Brian O’Malley rued a missed opportunity.

“We had a chance and didn’t take it but I cannot fault the effort of my players who gave everything from start to finish.

“I never felt we were going to lose but when your scoring dries up you are bound to be punished by a side like Templeogue,” added O’Malley.


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