UCC Demons 91 Moycullen 81
UCC Demons produced the shock of the season in the Men’s U20 National League when they eliminated cup champions Moycullen in the quarter-final at the Parochial Hall.
There were many heroes for the home side, but a 33-point contribution from Spanish ace Tala Fam proved crucial.
The opening quarter was played at a fast and ferocious pace.
Moycullen were a tall side with some excellent shooters and were always a threat.
Gradually Demons began taking command and with Spanish ace Fam showing some lovely skills at the post, Demons raced into a nine-point lead.
The athleticism of both sides was incredible but Demons took their eye off the ball and turnovers cost them dearly in the closing minutes but they still managed to command a 26-23 lead entering the second quarter.
On the restart, Demons missed a couple of tips as the skill of Irish international James Connaire continued to hurt the home side as Moycullen edged into a one-point lead.
The intensity increased as Demons got to grips by improving their defence but their failure to execute 10 free throws in this period was very evident.
Captain David Lehane led by example as he shot the ball well and played outstanding defence that kept his team in control as they went in at the break commanding a 50-42 lead.
The class of Moycullen resurfaced on the restart as they replied with eight points to tie the game two minutes into the restart.
Some of the basketball produced by both teams was superb. Fam took off from the top of the free throw lane and with sheer athleticism managed to produce a slammer that brought even the neutrals to their feet.
The sides were level at 68 points heading into the final quarter, but Demons showed true composure that saw off a highly-fancied Moycullen side, much to the delight of coach Danny O’Mahony.
“We played some great basketball and to defeat the cup champions is no mean feat,” said O’Mahony.
Top scorers for UCC Demons: T Fam 33, D Lehane 23, L Bite 16.
Moycullen: J Connaire 19, M Donnellan 19, T McMeela 10.
DEMONS: S Foley, K Moynihan, T Fam, D Lehane, C Looney, C Sweeney, L Bite, M McCarthy, J O’Leary, J Ukah, S Carney, B Murphy.
MOYCULLEN: L Burke, J Duggan, P Culkeen, T McMeela, M Donnellan, J Connaire, C Croke, J Wall, J Lyons, C Kerma, G Davonen.
Referees: J Dooley (Portlaoise), L Ahern (Limerick).