Andre Nation soars again with 44 points to leave Ballincollig basketballers one win away from promotion

Andre Nation soars again with 44 points to leave Ballincollig basketballers one win away from promotion
Andre Nation of Tradehouse Central Ballincollig hit a stunning 44 points against Tolka. Picture: INPHO/Oisin Keniry

Tolka Rovers 64 Tradehouse Central Ballincollig 98

ONE win is all Tradehouse Central Ballincollig need to confirm their promotion to the Super League.

Tradehouse Central Ballincollig remain unbeaten in the Men’s Division 1 following their 18th victory of the season, not including their President's Cup triumph, away to Tolka Rovers.

Ballincollig had few problems in Dublin, helped by a stunning 44-point contribution from American Andre Nation, and they will be crowned champions next Saturday if they defeat Sligo All Stars.

For coach Kieran O’Sullivan this was another solid performance as his team look set to take the big step to the Super League next season.

“We are now one step away from winning the title and we will approach next weekend’s game with confidence but also having respect for our opponents as every side want to be the first to defeat us in this campaign,” said Kieran O’Sullivan.

The Ballincollig chief was pleased with the attitude of his players in this win as he cited focus and intensity that laid the foundation for their success this season.

“I think the secret is being ready for all opposition as this is a funny league but I think our consistency and will to win has been the key in this campaign,” added O’Sullivan.

The mood in the Tolka Rovers camp was one disappointment as coach Emmet Geoghegan reflected on his team’s poor performance.

“It hasn’t been a great season for us and today we came up against a side who are sheer class and a level above the rest of us and that’s the reason they will be crowned champions,” said Geoghegan.

The opening quarter was all about Ballincollig putting pressure on their Dublin opponents and with Andre Nation giving an exhibition in the offence court they surged into a 14-point lead.

On the restart Tolka Rovers tightened up in defence but with Ballincollig coach Kieran O’Sullivan using various rotations they were still in control at the break when commanding a 20-point advantage.

Coming down the stretch the trend didn’t change as the subline skills of Nation kept the Leesiders in total control, while Colin Murray chipped in with 12 points.

Colin Murray drives to the hoop. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Colin Murray drives to the hoop. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

On Saturday next the Ballincollig Community School should be rocking when they will be crowned champions if they defeat Sligo All Stars in what has been a memorable season for them.

Top scorers for Tolka: J Goldsborough 14, S Moore 9, O O’Reilly 9.

Ballincollig: A Nation 44, C Murray 12, C O’Sullivan 10.

Referees: C Prendergast (Dublin), E Arroyo (Dublin).

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