Ballincollig basketballers cruise to victory and maintain their unbeaten run

Ballincollig basketballers cruise to victory and maintain their unbeaten run
Ballincollig's Colin Murray gets away from Waterford's Ryan Pepper, during their Men's Division 1 clash, at Ballincollig Community School. Picture: David Keane.

TradeHouse Central Ballincollig 99 Waterford Vikings 62

TRADEHOUSE Central Ballincollig remain unbeaten in all competitions after they easily accounted for Waterford Vikings in an Men’s Division 1 game at Ballincollig Community School on Sunday afternoon.

The match started with a fitting tribute when there was a minute’s silence for the late Kobe Bryant and ex-referee Sean Tracey.

The Village, in truth, were never really tested as they were always able to up the gears when needed, with Andre Nation’s athleticism, and the shooting powers of Stephen and Ciaran O’Sullivan hurting the visitors. With six games left, Ballincollig are four games ahead of their nearest rivals Killarney and are on the cusp of promotion to the Super League, three seasons after coming up to national level.

Ballincollig's Andre Nation scores against Waterford, during their Men's Division 1 clash, at Ballincollig Community School. Picture: David Keane.
Ballincollig's Andre Nation scores against Waterford, during their Men's Division 1 clash, at Ballincollig Community School. Picture: David Keane.

It was also a game, a week after complete a three-peat in the President's Cup, where coach Kieran O’Sullivan got a chance to play youngsters Cillian O’Connell, Colm Blount, and Sean O’Flynn; valuable minutes that will stand to their playing careers in the future.

Ballincollig raced into an early 9-2 lead with Nation scoring at the rim and Ciaran O’Sullivan nailing a long range three-pointer after three minutes of play.

The visitors responded when their American player hit consecutive three-pointers to reduce the deficit 12-8 midway through the period.

The home team made a lot of rotations in this period which upset their rhythm on both sides of the floor, however, Stephen O’Sullivan then hit a deep three-pointer to lead 24-17 to finish the opening quarter.

The second quarter started with a shootout between Stephen O’Sullivan (Ballincollig), and young Jay Kavanagh from (Vikings) nailing consecutive shots from beyond the arc. However, the Village still held a lead of 34-23 in the 13th minute of play.

The home team increased their defensive pressure forcing the Vikings into consecutive turnovers, and when Darragh slashed to the basket to score, they increased their lead 48-31 in the 17th minute.

The Village finished the quarter strongly with O’Connell, who has been in top form for his school in Youghal lately as well, making consecutive baskets, finishing at the rim to lead 52-35 at the half.

The O’Sullivan cousins, Ciaran and Ronan, added baskets to increase the Village lead 57-37 two minutes from the restart.

Ballincollig's Ciaran O'Sullivan on the move. Picture: David Keane.
Ballincollig's Ciaran O'Sullivan on the move. Picture: David Keane.

Dylan Corkery was having one of his better games offensively for the home team nailing a monstrous three-pointer and two breakaway lay-ups to increase their lead 69-42 in the 26th minute of play.

The visitors, to be fair, worked hard, with Kavanagh and Daniel Sheehan knocking down baskets. However, consecutive three daggers by Stephen O’Sullivan and Flemming saw Ballincollig lead 81-50 entering the final quarter.

With the game over as a contest, it was a chance for the home team to practice some of their different defences and offensively plays in the final period.

Their young players also got to play a lot of minutes in this period, and they didn’t look out of place either which bodes well for the future of their club, as they won on a score line 99-62.

Top scorers for TradeHouse Central Ballincoillig: Andre Nation 23, Stephen O’Sullivan 14, Dylan Corkery 12.

Waterford Vikings: Micheal Grassey 31, Craig O’Neill 13, Jay Kavanagh 12.

TRADEHOUSE CENTRAL BALLINCOLLIG: C Murray, D Corkery, I Zabola, D Flenning, R O’Sullivan, C O’Sullivan, S O’Sullivan, C Blount, C O’Flynn, J Kelly C O’Connell, A Nation.

WATERFORD VIKINGS: D Kavanagh, C O’Neill, E Annaba, J Kavanagh, R Pepper, C O’Rorke, M Grassey, J Robinson, D Sheehan.

Referees: Peter-James Coughlan (Cork), Mike Daly ( Limerick).

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