Bord Gáis Neptune produced a magnificent comeback to inflict a first defeat of the season on C & S UCC Demons 84-78 at the Neptune Stadium on Saturday.
Demons looked the dominant side for long periods, commanding a 20-point lead in the second quarter before getting outscored 24-4 in the closing five minutes after the teams were level at the interval 37 each. Demons were the architect of their own downfall, player-coach Colin O’Reilly using strange rotations instead of getting his team to close out the game.
In the third quarter the Demons player reintroduced himself as they raced into a 16-point lead entering the final quarter but once again O’Reilly substituted himself and rested American Lehmon Colbert.
Neptune produced a sterling run that ultimately ended Demons unbeaten league run. Naturally the Neptune coach Mark Scannell was over the moon with his teams battling performance.
“This win is down to the commitment my players have shown in the last fortnight as we took plenty of criticism following our cup defeat to Dublin Inter,” Scannell said.
The UCC Demons captain and stalwart Shane Coughlan could not hide his disappointment. “No excuses the game was in our hand twice and instead of pushing on and killing them off we took our foot off the pedal and in end were punished.”
Killester are now tied with UCC Demons at the top of the table as their kept their title challenge on track with a hard-earned 89-78 win over Belfast Star. The Clontarf side led 44-38 at the break and although Star tested their resilience a 26-point contribution from Michael Bonaparte was enough to get them over the line.
Defending champions UL Eagles got back to winning ways when they shocked DCU Saints 65-62 in a low scoring game at the DCU complex. DCU led their Limerick opponents 33-21 at the interval but a disappointing second-half performance allowed UL back in the game with Delwan Graham finishing with 23 points for the winners.
Dublin Inter put the recent defeats to UCC Demons behind them when they defeated UCD Marian 77-72 in a thrilling game at Mountview. Inspired by Maurtius Tamusauskas Dublin Inter led 42-40 at the break and coming down the stretch found the crucial baskets that sealed a hard-fought win.
In the women’s Premier League Team Montenotte had a superb 66-64 win over Killester at Clontarf.
The game looked to be heading Killester’s way before a late Niamh Dwyer basket and bonus gave the Leesiders maximum points.
The champions UL Huskies had little trouble in disposing of Meteors as a 26-point contribution from Rachael Clancy helped them to a comfortable 82-49 win.
DCU Mercy travelled to Belfast and defeated Ulster Rockets 64-47 and Singletons Supervalu Brunell minus Megan O’Leary and Celia Menendez had too much for Liffey Celtics when running out 72-62 winners.
Edel Thornton finished with 32 points for the Cork side who travel tomorrow to play defending champions UL Huskies.<
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