Ballincollig basketballers are gearing up for another President's Cup final

Ballincollig basketballers are gearing up for another President's Cup final
#22 Isaac James in action for Tradehouse Central Ballincollig against Ulster Elks. Picture: Larry Cummins Echo/Examiner

Tradehouse Central Ballincollig 77 Ulster University 50

TRADEHOUSE Central Ballincollig warmed up for next week’s President’s Cup final, with win over Ulster University in an Men’s Division 1 game at Ballincollig Community School on Saturday evening.

Ballincollig didn’t have it all their own way in this game as the scoreline flattered them, as they couldn’t shake off the visitors for large periods.

However, it took some good defensive play by the Village in the third period to eventually get some momentum offensively to see off the gallant Ulster outfit.

Coach Kieran O’Sullivan played a lot of different rotations in the opening two periods where the bulk of the squad played, however, American player Andre Nation and the O’Sullivan cousins (Ciarán and Ronan) stepped up on both sides of the floor in the third and fourth periods.

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

O’Sullivan was relieved that his team got through the game unscathed.

“We had a mixed performance, however, the main thing is that we avoided injuries before the cup game next week,” Kieran said.

“We got all 12 players in today, and that probably upset our rhythm a bit in the first half.

“In the second half we got our defence intensity up, and our transition game going to see out the game which was pleasing.

“I think we’re a better defensive team this year, as our team has matured a lot over the last few years.

Dylan Corkery scores for Tradehouse Central Ballincollig. Picture: Larry Cummins
Dylan Corkery scores for Tradehouse Central Ballincollig. Picture: Larry Cummins

“We are now holding teams to under 60 this year by been able to play different defensive variations, and that was the key to winning this game today,” said Kieran.

The Village got off to a solid start and jumped into a 19-6 lead with Andre Nation adding 13 points after for minutes of play.

The Ulster side responded with their American guard Kadeem Smithen causing the home team problems with his athleticism, slashing to basket to reduce the deficit 20-14 to finish the opening quarter.

The second period was a low key affair where their was very little rhythm offensively.

In this period the Village gave some of their younger players a chance to shine, and they increased their lead 34-25 at the half.

Ulster made a bit of a run offensively with baskets from Smithen and Aaron Rooney to reduce the deficit 40-32 four minutes from the restart.

Then the home team upped their defense intensity forcing Ulster into three 24-second shot violations coupled with Ciarán O’Sullivan nailing two consecutive three-pointers, and a magnificent slam dunk by Nation to lead 55-41 entering the final period.

Ciarán O'Sullivan in action for Tradehouse Central Ballincollig against Ulster Elks. Picture: Larry Cummins
Ciarán O'Sullivan in action for Tradehouse Central Ballincollig against Ulster Elks. Picture: Larry Cummins

In the final period the Village always were in control of the game and with youngsters Issac James, Andrew O’Connor and Seán O’Flynn, who nailed a late three, seeing plenty of court time they ran out 77-50 winners.

Top scorers for Tradehouse Central Ballincollig: Andre Nation 33, Ciaran O’Sullivan 14, Ronan O’Sullivan 9.

Ulster University: Kadeem Smithen 17, Aaron Rooney 8, Ryan Murtagh 7.

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

ULSTER UNIVERSITY: K Smith, A Rooney, S O’Connor, C Gervin, K Dixon, M Rooney, M Dougherty, C Weber, F O’Connor, R Murtagh.

Referees: Ger Daly ( Cork), Emer O’Neill ( Kerry).

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