U18/U20 Men’s semi-finals: Neptune qualified for both U18 and U20 Men’s National Cup finals with impressive wins over Maree and Templeogue.
In the U18 semi-final, Neptune were brought to the wire by a gallant Maree side who just failed to upset their highly-rated Cork opponents, losing out 75-73.
Neptune coach Tom O’Sullivan was over the moon at the sound of the final buzzer.
“We needed to win so badly, as our club have been starved of success at this level, and now we are 40 minutes away from a national title,” O’Sullivan said.
“Maree were an excellent side and made it very difficult for us but I thought the spirit of the lads in the final quarter was impeccable and hopefully we can now do the business in the final.”
Moycullen will be Neptune’s opponents, after they overcame Tolka Rovers 78-76 after extra-time in a pulsating encounter.
The Galway side trailed by 10 points entering the final quarter and had to rally to force the extra period, before edging through, to the delight of coach John Cunningham.
“The spirit we showed in this game didn’t surprise me as we have tremendous spirit in this team. Make no mistake, Tolka frightened us as they played out of their skins and it’s just a pity there had to be a loser,” Cunningham said.
Neptune produced champagne basketball to defeat Templeogue 94-78 in the U20 Men’s semi-final.
Neptune had top class displays from leading U18 players Sean Jenkins, Adam Heaphy and Liam Chandler that eventually proved too much for the Dublin outfit to handle.
The atmosphere was electric at Neptune Stadium as coach Kieran Leahy praised his troops.
“It was like the good old days back at the stadium as our fans enjoyed the basketball produced and hopefully this team will continue to improve,” Leahy said.
St Vincent’s will provide the opposition in the final as they overcame Moycullen 68-65 in an epic game.
“There is an extraordinary will to win in this squad and I think today this team came of age as we defeated a very good Moycullen side,” said coach Joey Boylan, after his side’s excellent second-half effort.
The Vincent’s boss is confident many of this team and some of the players coming through their club will restore the glory days to the Glasnevin club.
“There are some talented players in our club and hopefully they can build on this win and go on to win the title.”
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