Swords Thunder produced magnificent basketball to defeat Templeogue 80-69 in a rehearsal of the Men’s National Cup final at the National Arena on January 30.
Templeogue went into this game with a clean 12-0 record in all competitions but they came up against a Swords team that are certainly full of confidence following their stunning win over C&S UCC Demons last week.
Swords coach Dave Baker was happy : “We played well in patches but to defeat a side that were unbeaten is a good achievement by my team,” Baker said.
Baker insisted his team didn’t even think of the forthcoming cup final before the game: “We have UCD Marian next week and that will be our focus in training and then we will start planning for our cup final,” added Baker.
The mood in the Templeogue camp was still positive as coach Mark Keenan reflected on his side’s first defeat of the season. “We have to be realistic and admit that playing without our American Michael Bonaparte is tough, particularly against a side like Swords.
“It’s not all doom and gloom as with Bonaparte out and Conor Grace getting injured I thought my guys battled really hard.”
UL Eagles travelled north to play Belfast Star and came away with a stunning 112-100 win with American Staats Battle leading their scoring on 24 points.
Moycullen got back to winning ways with a 76-68 home win over Eanna as coach Nollaig Cunningham gave a debut to American Raheem Lemons who finished with a 16 point contribution.
“I was pleased with Raheem in his first game for us and hopefully he will give us a lift for the remaining games,” Nollaig said.
Demons, stunned by Swords Thunder in the cup semi, got their title bid back on track with an impressive 80-68 win over UCD Marian in the battle of the colours at the Mardyke.
Demons went into the game minus player coach Colin O’Reilly and with Niall O’Reilly and Niall Murphy also unavailable, this was a potential banana skin for the champions.
The Cork side, inspired by Lehmon Colbert (28), produced a solid fourth quarter to gain maximum points much to the relief of their American.
“This was all about getting a win after our cup defeat and hopefully we can keep ourselves in the title race,” Colbert said.
The top of the table clash in the Women’s Premier League saw the honours go to DCU Mercy who defeated Team Montenotte 82-70. This game, originally fixed for Upper Glanmire Sports complex, had to be moved to the Parochial Hall due to a power cut.
Glanmire surged into a 10-point lead but that’s as good as it got for them as a stunning performance from the DCU Mercy American, Chelsea Painter, proved too much for the Cork side.
Painter finished with 34 points as coach Mark Ingle praised his side’s character: “I thought once we got to grips with them in the second quarter we looked comfortable,” Ingle said.
It is worrying times for Glanmire coach Mark Scannell with Niamh Dwyer sidelined for the season and Casey Grace battling to be fit for the cup final, American Chantell Alford had to be taken to hospital with an eye injury.
Alford went off in the first half as coach Scannell tried to put the game into perspective.
“We went away from doing what we do best and too many of our key players had a bad night, but we have the character to bounce back,” Scannell said.
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