ONE of the Cork’s main basketball families – the O’Sullivans – are buzzing after a sizzling weekend of national league action.
Brothers Ciarán and Adrian O’Sullivan were the match-winners for Tradehouse Central Ballincollig and UCC Demons respectively, while their father Francis guided Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell to an upset over cup holders DCU Mercy.
The drama started on Saturday afternoon when Ciarán nailed a buzzer-beating three-pointer for Ballincollig with four seconds on the clock. His cool finish completed an astonishing 20-point comeback to defeat Killorglin 77-76. O’Sullivan hit 10 points from the end of the third into the start of the fourth quarter which started the revival, on the back of Cameron Clark’s dynamic slam-dunk.
It means the Collig, the Kerry side and Neptune each have 15 wins and two losses in the National League with two games remaining. Ballincollig are away to Portlaoise next weekend, while Neptune head to Killorglin. If the two Cork sides are successful it will set up a winner-takes-all clash in Ballincollig Community School on March 3 for the title.
Ciarán uncle Kieran O'Sullivan is Ballincollig coach and his son Ronan flew back from a new job in London to face Killorglin, scoring 14 points before setting up the winning basket.
On Sunday, Ciarán’s younger brother Adrian stepped up with a last-gasp drive to the hoop to give UCC Demons a 74-73 victory over Eanna in their SuperLeague clash in the Mardyke Arena. The hosts had fallen behind with seven seconds to go.
Francis O'Sullivan's Brunell pulled off a terrific victory in the Women’s SuperLeague over in-form DCU Mercy, 78-75. Breana Bey, Danielle O’Leary and Amy Murphy top-scored for the Leesiders in a confidence-boosting win.
Ciarán didn’t have much time to savour Ballincollig’s dramatic triumph on Saturday as he had to drive up to Galway to coach the Ireland U17 development squad. There are five Corkonians on the panel of 21: Fr Mathew’s duo Aaron O’Donovan and Diego O’Herlihy, Ballincollig’s Isacc James and Andrew O’Connor, and Blue Demons’ David Lehane.