Neptune 86 Ballina 74
THERE was an explosive end to the National Basketball League decider at the Neptune Stadium in 1991.
The game finished in uproar with three players ejected following an ugly free-for-all which started with only 1.51 left on the clock and defending champions Neptune leading by 79-72.
Recent cup winners, Ballina, who had defeated Neptune in the final, saw two of their star players, Deora Marsh and Liam McHale, thrown out of the game for fighting.
Also banished was the Cork side’s American Sam Graham, who contributed 23 points, but didn’t see out the fixture for ‘punching an opponent.’
Match officials Tony Burke and Tony Colgan also had reason to call a technical foul on the Neptune bench for ‘court encroachment’ and pulled up Man-of-the-Match Paul Murphy, scorer of 30 points, for an intentional foul.
The punch-up lasted over a minute and involved players and spectators before club officials managed to restore order.
The key spell came early in the second half when the Cork side hit 16 points without response as Murphy and Brendan O’Flaherty raised the roof with a couple of spectacular three-pointers.
Neptune’s victory practically guaranteed the defending champions another title-their seventh in nine seasons, with just a couple of games left against bottom side Cookstown and St Vincent’s from Dublin.