UCD Marian produced their best performance of the season to defeat Neptune 83-80 in a thrilling Nivea Men’s SuperLeague quarter-final play off at the Neptune stadium.
The Cork side, who had defeated the students three times in the regular season by 20 points plus in all games, were expected to win this tie in a canter but UCD Marian had other ideas, according to coach Fran Ryan.
“I told my players that winning was not beyond them if they played to their potential,” Fran said.
“No pundit gave us a chance of winning but then again nobody gave us a chance last season of winning the national cup and we proved many doubters wrong on that historic occasion.”
UCD Marian will now play DCU Saints in the semi-final on Sunday next.
The mood in the Neptune dressing-room was one of complete shock as coach Mark Scannell took time to praise the gallant winners.
“I was adamant in the build-up to this game that it was a potential banana skin and sadly I was proved right,” Scannell said.
“On the other side of the coin we did not play smartly but credit to UCD they shot the lights out as we failed to shut down their threats.”
Meanwhile Mark Keenan’s UL Eagles upset the formbook, defeating Killester 97-81 in the other quarter-final at Clontarf.
The Dublin side sensationally axed Keenan after leading them to last year’s league title and now he is in pole position in guiding the Shannonsiders.
UL played champagne basketball from tip off and with American Robert Taylor executing crucial baskets they led 45-40 at the break.
In the second half the Eagles soared highest and despite the best efforts of Jermaine Turner Killester were a beaten side long before the final buzzer. UCC Demons now host UL Eagles in a potential mouth watering semi-final at the Mardyke arena.
In the women’s SuperLeague Waterford Wildcats booked a semi-final clash with UL by edging out Killester after extra time with DCU Mercy booking their final four place with a comfortable win over Meteors.
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