Basketball round-up: Kelleher hails Neptune for keeping their composure as Mathew's beat Brunell in a Cork derby

Basketball round-up: Kelleher hails Neptune for keeping their composure as Mathew's beat Brunell in a Cork derby
C & S Neptune's Gary Walsh with a brilliant reverse pass to Darragh O'Sullivan from Maree's Eoin Rockall. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

C and S Neptune got their first win of the season in the Men’s Super League at home on Saturday evening, edging out old rivals, Maree 90-84. 

The experience of Lehmon Colbert (24 points) and talent of young Darragh O’Sullivan (23 points) led the way to a much-needed win for Paul Kelleher’s side.

Speaking afterwards, Kelleher stated: “Outside of Belfast Star, Maree were probably one of the next in-form teams, having beaten Demons and Marian. We knew of their dynamism so how we defended was going to be crucial, and we did that superbly. 

"We still lost our focus in periods, which we need to improve on, but we didn’t let them get too far ahead unlike previous games. The test was in a close finish, how we managed the game and we looked really composed. A very, very good performance to get us on the board.” 

C & S Neptune's Cian Heaphy hit 10 points on Saturday night. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
C & S Neptune's Cian Heaphy hit 10 points on Saturday night. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Griffith College Swords Thunder continued their recent winning streak, running out 87-78 point winners over UCC Demons. Another huge display from guard, Elijah Mays, saw him finish with a tally of 32 points to help Swords home to a fourth consecutive win. 

Over in the Women’s Super League, Courtyard Liffey Celtics and Ambassador UCC Glanmire remain the only two unbeaten teams in the league, with four wins from four games apiece. This tees up a hugely interesting clash between the two sides next Saturday evening when they go head-to-head in Upper Glanmire.

Ambassador UCC Glanmire meanwhile took the spoils against IT Carlow Basketball on Sunday afternoon, running out 49-61 point winners after a convincing display from the Mark Scannell's side.

Gráinne Dwyer, Fr Mathew's, in action against centre Amy Waters, Brunell.Picture: Larry Cummins
Gráinne Dwyer, Fr Mathew's, in action against centre Amy Waters, Brunell.Picture: Larry Cummins

Niamh and Grainne Dwyer meanwhile were on hand to save the day for Fr Mathew's on Sunday, as they secured a two-point victory at the death in a ding-dong battle in the Parochial Hall. 

With nothing separating the sides throughout the contest, two free throws in the dying seconds from the cool hands of Niamh was followed at the other end by a vital steal by Grainne to see their side home to a 70-72 point win in the big Cork derby. Grainne led the scoring with a whopping 30-point display.

In the Men's Division 1, Ballincollig came through two games this weekend to go 11-0 at the top of the Southern Conference, Ian McLoughlin came up trumps on Saturday against a dogged Carlow outfit to the tune of 21 points, while American Andre Nation struck 35 points in Waterford on Sunday.

Belfast Star stormed to the top of the Men's SuperLeague table following a 10-point win over Garvey’s Tralee Warriors in front of a capacity crowd in the kingdom on Saturday evening.

Big displays once more from Mike Davis and Mark Berlic along with a 25-point performance from Sergio Vidal Baldovi helped Star over the line in a pulsating game that saw a big push from the visitors late in the third to drive on down the stretch to win out 79-89 in the end.

Speaking afterwards, Star head coach, Adrian Fulton, reflected on a big road win for his side: “That was two very, very good teams going toe-to-toe for a lot of the game and I thought it was a very good spectacle for the huge crowd here. We’re delighted obviously, it’s a win and it’s a big win as it’s on the road, and we’re delighted.” 

His son, 16-year-old CJ Fulton, was one of the stars on the night for the Belfast squad and Adrian admitted he’s been performing well for the team. 

“He has been doing well, we’re delighted with him, and we didn’t think he’d be playing nearly as much as he is. It’s more out of necessity – Aidan Quinn is injured, Conor is basically playing with one hand, and CJ was given the opportunity and he’s grasped it and it’s terrific.” 

DCU Saints meanwhile took home the bragging rights from their Dublin derby with Templeogue on Saturday evening, winning out by just one point at the death (67-68) at Oblate Hall. Huge performances from Martins Provizors and Mike Bonaparte – who combined for 42 points on the night – helped DCU to put the game in the melting pot in the third quarter and Tariq Guebaili was the hero of the hour when he put Saints ahead by the minimum with five seconds to go. 

Templeogue just couldn’t find the target from the free throw line as the seconds ticked down to see a memorable victory for the Saints in the end.

Pyrobel Killester also got another win under their belts on Saturday evening, running out 99-74 point winners over Moycullen in Clontarf.

UCD Marian got back to winning ways on Saturday evening with an 86-64 point win over Keane’s SuperValu Killorglin in Dublin. Top-scoring from Conor Meany and Mike Garrow helped the hosts into a 41-27 point lead at half-time and they didn’t look back from there, despite the sharpshooting of Killorglin’s Pierre Newton which saw him finish the game on 30 points. 

In the women's league, Liffey Celtics ran out impressive 80-57 point winners over DCU Mercy in a big battle in Leixlip on Saturday evening. A combined 54-point display from Celtics’ Americans, Briana Green and Allie LeClaire, helped see them home to glory.

“I’m absolutely delighted with the win,” said Liffey head coach, Mark Byrne. “I thought we played really well at times especially in the second half. I think, like some other games we’ve had this year, the scoreline maybe flatters us a little bit as DCU are very good and it was a tough game, but I’m really, really happy with how we played. It was a good strong performance all round. It’s great to be 4-0, but it’s very early still.” 

Pyrobel Killester came out on the right side of the result in their showdown with NUIG Mystics on Saturday evening, winning out 82-44 against the Galway side. Killester’s Christa Reed was the main talking point of the clash, as she finished out the game with a whopping 44-point personal tally, matching Mystics’ combined total. 

Maxol WIT Wildcats also took home an emphatic 71-32 point win over Marble City Hawks on Saturday evening, with a solid team performance seeing a host of scores from Meibh Maher, Allyssa Velles and Cathy Kavanagh to send them home to victory.

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