Ballincollig will be buzzing as it’s game on for Division 1 basketball league glory

Ballincollig will be buzzing as it’s game on for Division 1 basketball league glory
There will be a huge crowd in BCS to cheer on Tradehouse Central Ballincollig's Ciarán O'Sullivan with the league title on the line. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

THE day has finally arrived for Tradehouse Central Ballincollig as they attempt to clinch the Men’s Division 1 National League title tomorrow when they clash with Sligo All Stars at Ballincollig Community School.

What a season it has been for Ballincollig as they are presently the only team across all leagues at national level to have an unbeaten record.

Ballincollig coach Kieran O’Sullivan he is hoping that the players and fans can enjoy a great day tomorrow when the club have finally reached the Holy Grail that will ensure them Super League basketball next season.

“When we joined the league three years ago the goal was that we wanted to play in the top flight and now we have the opportunity to clinch the title in front of our home fans,” said Kieran O’Sullivan.

Despite Ballincollig completing a hat trick of wins in the President’s National Cup they had failed in the last couple of seasons to get promoted but in this campaign they have shown true class.

There is little doubt the signing of American Andre Nation was a vital one for Ballincollig as on his best day he is simply a scoring machine.

Andre Nation in action for Tradehouse Central Ballincollig against Ulster Elks. Picture: Larry Cummins
Andre Nation in action for Tradehouse Central Ballincollig against Ulster Elks. Picture: Larry Cummins

The club also deserve credit in the manner they handled Nation when he picked up an early season injury that saw them rest him for a total of five games.

Many sides might have panicked when their professional was injured but Ballincollig showed loyalty and caring during Nation’s rehabilitation.

During the season two of their stalwarts Ian McLoughlin and Daniel O’Sullivan’s picked up nasty injuries that have curtailed their involvement recently but both were vital components in the early phase of the campaign.

A fortnight ago post player Ronan O’Sullivan departed to Singapore to take up a work position but credit to the big man he had some good moments throughout the campaign.

Ronan O'Sullivan of Tradehouse Central Ballincollig in action against Manny Payton of LYIT Donegal. Picture: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Ronan O'Sullivan of Tradehouse Central Ballincollig in action against Manny Payton of LYIT Donegal. Picture: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

When coach O’Sullivan looks back on the season he has seen his team win 18 consecutive league games. And since joining the league in 2018 they have accumulated 81 wins overall. 

Those stats indicate Ballincollig are ready to take the big step.

“The lads have been outstanding and I think for many of them they will not be out of place in the Super League although we know it’s going to be a far tougher grade to play in but one we will embrace,” added O’Sullivan.

Tomorrow’s opponents Sligo All Stars despite having put a big investment into recruiting American and European players have failed in their bid for promotion, though they have been getting decent home attendances.

The Ballincollig faithful are bound to enjoy the carnival atmosphere and barring a complete meltdown they will be crowned champions.

Let the party begin!

Verdict: Tradehouse Central Ballincollig.

Fr Mathew’s are involved in an interesting game when they travel to Killarney for a clash against Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s.

The Lakers are another club that had ambition to play in the Super League next season but they were demolished three times by Ballincollig this season in league and cup.

Fr Mathew’s have had a relatively solid season that saw them reach the cup semi-final but just like their opponents are well off Super League standard.

The Lakers will be hoping to finish the season in style and they should just about shade this interesting game, which will cement their spot in second place, to ensure they get a promotion play-off against the second last team in the top flight.

Verdict: Scott Lakers Killarney.

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