Coughlan C & S Neptune 77 DCU Saints 86
ANOTHER defeat for Coughlan C & S Neptune as they went down tamely to DCU Saints in the Men’s Super League at the Neptune Stadium on Saturday.
The defeat possibly ends their faint hopes of them making the Champions Trophy playoffs but it was their dismal display that will worry the faithful.
Lacking passion, aggression and intensity would hurt any side but the bottom line now is that Neptune now look a shadow of the team that started the campaign.
Reflecting on the game player-coach Lehmon Colbert looked frustrated and annoyed his side had once again unperformed.
“We are not playing defence to the level we are capable of and you saw players like Charlie Coombes and Kevin Lacey ran riot against us,” said Colbert.
Neptune got off to a great start and with Gary Walsh, Adam Heaphy and Colbert nailing three threes in the opening three minutes they surged into an 11-point lead in the third minute.
Gradually the Saints got to grips with the game and with Michael Bonaparte showing his former teammates little mercy they reduced the lead to 18-12 in the fifth minute.
Walsh has certainly had a great season, particularly in the shooting department as his second three-pointer helped them restore a 10-point lead with two minutes remaining in the quarter.
The battling Saints would not be denied and in the closing minutes, they battled back to reduce the deficit to five points entering the second period.
On the restart, both teams shot the ball exceptionally well but Saints were now sharing the ball better and with Kevin Lacey showing lovely touches to the hoop they led for the first time with 4.13 remaining to the interval.
The Neptune scoring dried up as the Saints remained in command and at the break, the Dublin side had edged into a five-point lead.
The most noticeable aspect about the Neptune play was their lack of intensity at both ends of the court and on the restart, Saints continued to score at will.
Defence continued to be a problem for Neptune as the Saints scored unchallenged shots and with 1.45 remaining in the third quarter, the visitors had increased their lead to nine points.
To be fair Neptune improved a little as Roy Downey top-scored with 18 points and Nil Sabata added 16, but the Saints looked comfortable with an eight-point lead 71-63 entering the final quarter.
Coming down the stretch Saints played controlled basketball as Coombes and Lacey scored baskets at will.
Looking at the body language of the Neptune players they lacked the fight for the battle.
And with away games against Belfast Star and Eanna next weekend the season looks likely to end on a dismal note.
Top scorers for Coughlan C & S Neptune: R Downey 18, N Sabata 16, L Colbert 15.
DCU Saints: M Bonaparte 24, C Coombes 18, K Lacey 17.
Referees: M McGettrick (Athlone), M Thornhill (Cork), L Aherne (Limerick).