C&S Neptune 77
C&S Neptune have a fight on their hands to stay in the Men’s Super League after yesterday’s heavy defeat to Templeogue at Neptune Stadium.
They are bottom of the table, which means to survive now they will have to beat the losers of the Division 1 promotion play-off final. That game will be contested next weekend on Sunday in Waterford following the Éanna-Killarney and Ballincollig-Dublin Lions semi-finals the day before.
The likelihood is it will come down to Neptune against Éanna or Ballincollig. Swords Thunder pulled out of the Super League midway through this campaign, which means only one side will drop down to Division 1 and there is no automatic relegation.
Neptune's last regular-season game was a non-contest almost from the start to finish as Templelogue looked on a different planet to their Cork opponents.
Looking at both Neptune and UCC Demons this season, you wonder if they are wasting their time competing at this level as the playing field is totally uneven to teams outside the capital, with the exception of Tralee Warriors.
Considering the budgets that some clubs are operating from, the Cork clubs are lagging well behind. The majority of teams have two Americans and two Europeans on their payroll, plus the coach, and that’s becoming a benchmark out of reach for many sides in the league.
After the game, Neptune coach Paul Kelleher said the lack of support for Cork clubs is getting worse: “When you look at Tralee Warriors, it is their home support that is funding the whole operation and when you have that amount of money being generated, quality Americans and Bosmans are easy to attract.”
In the opinion of coach Kelleher, the mindset of Cork basketball fans needs to change, or we could end up without clubs competing at this level.
“I don’t think the basketball produced by ourselves or Demons is boring, but getting bums on seats is becoming an impossibility and sadly, I haven’t found the solution.”
Templeogue looked a different class and with Dee Proby and Jason Killeen dominating at the post, it was no surprise they commanded a 28-13 lead entering the second quarter.
The Dublin side got sloppy using different rotations in the second quarter but still looked comfortable at the break, enjoying a 55-39 lead.
It got worse for Neptune later as Templeogue were head and shoulders above them in key departments. It was no surprise when they increased their lead to 33 points entering the final quarter.
Templelogue then went through the motions as the sound of the final buzzer was possibly music to the ears of the Neptune faithful.
Scorers for C & S Neptune: L Colbert 19, D O’Sullivan 16, A Heaphy 15.
Templeogue: N Randolph 23, L Murphy 14, D Proby 14.
C&S NEPTUNE: L Colbert, D O’Sullivan, C Heaphy, D Murray, G Walsh, G Noonan, C Heaphy, S O’Connor, J Melton, R Downey, O Connolly.
TEMPLEOGUE: E Murphy, L Thompson, P Burke, S James, P Summers, K Arcilla, J F Basileu, D Proby, I McKeon, J Killeen, N Randolph, L Murphy.
Referees: M McGettrick (Dublin), P J Coughlan (Cork), C White (Dublin).