Cork's Rebel Wheelers back in another IWA basketball cup final

Cork's Rebel Wheelers back in another IWA basketball cup final
Rebel Wheelers' Jack Quinn gets his pass away as Clonaslee's Lorcan Madden closes in, during their Hula Hoops IWA National Cup semi-final, at Neptune Stadium. Picture: David Keane.

Rebel Wheelers 52 

Clonaslee 33

REBEL WHEELERS advanced to the final of the Hula Hoop IWA National Cup final when they had an impressive victory in the semi-final against Clonaslee from the Midlands at the Neptune Stadium on Sunday morning.

Last year's cup winners were excellent in the opening period showing all their skills offensively with the superb passing of Derek Hegarty, and shooting skills of Jack Quinn. 

Defensively, the Rebels were well-disciplined, and their press gave the visitors all sorts of problems leading to turnovers for the Cork team to get some easy lay-ups to lead 28-0. 

In the second quarter, coach Con Coughlan was able to rotate his players.  The visitors got on the scoreboard with Paul Tobin and Richard Murphy getting on the scoreboard, however, they trailed 27 points at the half. 

The Wheelers' first-half performance gave them the foundation to go and win the game, and also it also gave them an opportunity to give some of their younger players some valuable court time.

Looking back on how they won the game, Derek Hegarty gave the Rebels the perfect start with a mid-range shot in the opening minute of the game. 

The Rebels were very composed offensively to show all their passing and shooting skills, and when Alan Dineen scored a layup they held a 12-0 midway through the opening quarter. 

The home team increased their advantage when Hegarty’s vision saw Darragh O’Reagan open to score and led 28-0 at the end of the first period.

Clonaslee got on the scoreboard in the 12th minute when Richard Murphy scored superb shot from the elbow. 

The Rebels made some changes to their starting lineup, and when O’Reagan scored an inside basket they led 36-5 midway through the period. 

Rebel Wheelers' Johnny Hayes shoots for a basket against Clonaslee. Picture: David Keane.
Rebel Wheelers' Johnny Hayes shoots for a basket against Clonaslee. Picture: David Keane.

The Midlands Lorcan Madden reduced the deficit 36-13 with a baseline shot, however, two Dylan McCarthy baskets gave the Rebels a 40-13 lead at the half.

In the third period, the home team were able to play a lot of their younger players, and the biggest cheer of the morning came when Conor Coughlan’s lay-up to lead 44-19 in the 28th minute. 

The Rebels Hegarty's strength under the basket was immense for his team grabbing rebound after rebound, and with the shooting of Quinn, they held a 48-12 lead at the end of the third period.

In the final period the five players of Clonaslee worked hard, however, the Rebels were able to rotate their entire squad to win 52-33, and now go on to defend their title in two weeks in Tallaght.

The Rebel Wheelers team celebrate with the cup after the Hula Hoops IWA Cup victory in 2019. They are back in the final in two weeks looking to retain their title. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
The Rebel Wheelers team celebrate with the cup after the Hula Hoops IWA Cup victory in 2019. They are back in the final in two weeks looking to retain their title. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Top scorers for Rebel Wheelers: Dylan McCarthy 26, Jack Quinn 10, Derek Hegarty 6.

Clonaslee: Richard Murphy 15, Lorcan Madden 10, Dermot Berry 6.

REBEL WHEELERS: Con Coughlan, J Quinn, A Hennebry, D Hegarty, J Hayes, A Dineen, D O’Reagan, S Juranek, Conor Coughlan, D McCarthy, S Ring, C O’Brien.

CLONASLEE: P Tobin, G Culliton, D Berry, L Madden, R Murphy.

Referees: Aidan Timmons ( Limerick), Arek Baginski ( Dublin).

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