Whatever the result, basketball cup final weekend is always emotional

Whatever the result, basketball cup final weekend is always emotional

Darragh O'Sullivan wears a wristband with 'LC32 written on it in memory of Liam Chandler. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

THERE are still a host of trophies up for grabs in terms of league titles and the top-four play-offs but the cup weekend is basketball box-office.

Cork teams came home with three cups, starting with the Rebel Wheelers atoning for last year’s loss. There were a couple of disappointing defeats too, and a host of special memories.

Fr Mathew's supporters were left disappointed. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Fr Mathew's supporters were left disappointed. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Basketball might not have the profile of the major sports but the atmosphere in the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght is incredible. It’s where reputations are made.

It might be the last appearance on that stage – for now – for some of the gifted Neptune U20s that defeated Dublin Lions. Darragh O’Sullivan and Cian Heaphy are looking at their options in the States where Darragh’s older brother Conor is currently playing in college and some of their former Neptune comrades Adam Drummond and Sean Jenkins are stationed.

The Hanningan twins, Scott and James have been the breakout stars of the season and pulled off a double by landing the U19 A Schools Cup with Gaelcholáiste Mhuire AG on the Tuesday before the U20 clash. James was MVP in the first game, Scott the marquee performer at the weekend.

Scott Hannigan is congratulated on winning the MVP award. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Scott Hannigan is congratulated on winning the MVP award. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

David Murray is always great to watch because he leaves everything on the court.

Kieran Leahy’s side weren’t at their best in the final but they’d come through the tougher side of the draw. The Neptune players dedicated the victory to the late Liam Chandler and whatever the future holds for the group they did him proud.

Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Tradehouse Central Ballincollig retained the President’s Cup and in the dressing room after their coach Kieran O’Sullivan paid tribute to Tim Murray, Eoghan Cotter and Kelvin O’Sullivan, as Ciarán O’Sullivan described them “revered people we lost on the way”. Sporting events always generate huge emotion which can be harnessed.

Special mention must go to Ballincollig native Kieran O’Brien, who previously played with Neptune too. The veteran was crucial for Killester on their road to the Super League Cup.

Kieran O'Brien of Pyrobel Killester celebrates with assistant coach Jonathan Grennell. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Kieran O'Brien of Pyrobel Killester celebrates with assistant coach Jonathan Grennell. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

In a neat connection, Kieran’s sister Sarah and her husband Eoin Cotter own the Good for the Soul café, one of Ballincollig’s sponsors. The type of backing that’s crucial for all clubs.

The Brunell faithful. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
The Brunell faithful. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

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