C & S UCC Demons’ incredible winning streak continued at the UL Arena on Saturday when they chalked up their 17th consecutive win in the Men’s Premier League, defeating UL Eagles 106-81.
The Shannonsiders began well and at one period in the opening quarter commanded a 17-point lead.
The game was still finely poised entering the fourth quarter with Demons leading 76-72, but the champions showed greater intensity coming down the stretch to run out 25-point winners.
Player-coach Colin O’Reilly hailed Demons’ ability to restrict UL to nine points when the game hung in the balance.
“Since our last game the players had a week off and two sessions in the build-up to this game so I guess we were a little ring-rusty.”
However O’Reilly was quick to praise UL’s intensity: “They shot the lights out in the opening quarter but we eventually found a resemblance of our rhythm.”
Demons are seeking to complete the Grand Slam by winning the Champions Trophy at the end of the month but coach O’Reilly believes this game is a wake-up call.
“If we are not at full throttle, teams in this league can hang around but thankfully we produced the goods when we needed to,” added Colin.
It has been a disappointing season for Killester and a 92-80 defeat by Templeogue may cost them third place in the league.
Recent home defeats to DCU Saints and UL Eagles set the alarm bells ringing for Jonathon Grennell’s side, who now have to wait until next weekend when Templeogue complete their campaign away to UL Eagles.
Templeogue were certainly fired up and with Isaac Gordon contributing 25 points and Jason Killeen 23, they saw off Killester in style.
For Templeogue coach Mark Keenan, it was a crucial win: “We still have to defeat UL Eagles to seal third spot and if we do that we avoid playing C & S UCC Demons in the Champions Trophy semi-final,” Keenan said.
BFG Neptune looked comfortable entering the final quarter when commanding a 10-point lead over Belfast Star but ended up losing 88-78 at Neptune Stadium.
Neptune player- coach Ger Noonan showed his disappointment as he reflected on his team’s latest defeat.
“We were comfortable and suddenly our scoring dried up coming down the stretch with our intensity dropping and I am bitterly disappointed to have lost,” Noonan said.
The northerners looked sluggish for long periods but assistant coach Danny Fulton felt they came good at the right time.
“It was a scrappy affair but once we got among Neptune in the fourth quarter I was always confident we would win,” Fulton said.
Travelodge Swords Thunder were fortunate to defeat DCU Saints 72-71 in a hard -fought encounter at the DCU complex.
Saints led 44-40 at the break but Swords edged them out in a nail-biting second half, much to the disappointment of coach Joey Boylan.
Boylan said: “We had a chance but I can see the progress that many of my young players have made in this campaign.
“To be fair, outside of UCC Demons there is little to choose between any of the teams in this league and I think that was shown this evening in the manner we took this game to the league runners-up.”
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