Basketball round-up: Ballincollig and Neptune win, mixed fortunes for Fr Mathew's

John Coughlan reveiws on the Basketball Ireland league action this Saturday 
Basketball round-up: Ballincollig and Neptune win, mixed fortunes for Fr Mathew's

Andre Nation, Ballincollig, drives at Colin O'Reilly, Neptune, in the Men's Super League. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

TRADEHOUSE Central Ballincollig maintained their unbeaten record to the season in the Men’s Super League after coming away with a hard-fought 69-64 win at Killorglin.

In a low-scoring first half, the newcomers to the top flight edged 36-32 up though after a scrappy third quarter the Kerry side were four points in front.

The Cork side managed to increase their intensity in defence and with Andre Nation executing key baskets and Adrian O’Sullivan back to his best, they managed to secure maximum points.

For coach Kieran O’Sullivan this was a tough game where his side had to show their true character.

“It was a battle but that’s what you expect when you play at Killorglin.

“Defence was the key to winning this game and now we must dust ourselves down and try and get a win a home win against NUIG Maree on Saturday,” said O’Sullivan.

C & S Neptune were made to work hard before overcoming Maree 92-78 at the Neptune Stadium. It got them back on track after their loss to Ballincollig in the opener.

The full report from the Singleton's SuperValu Brunell and The Address UCC Glanmire derby is here.

The biggest shock of the weekend was Fr Mathew’s 73-58 defeat away to St Mary’s Castleisland in the Women’s Super League.

The Kerry side suffered a humiliating 71-points hammering to UCC Glanmire in their opening league game but they refused to be affected by their dreadful experience at the Mardyke Arena.

Mathew’s got off to a good start and with Shannon Brady dominating the post they led 18-14. In the second quarter, both teams went for the jugular but with Lorraine Scanlon battling hard on the boards, it was 33-32 to the hosts at the break.

Credit to the Castleisland coach Liam Culloty he regrouped his side after last week’s mauling by Glanmire and they showed true grit in the closing minutes to take a six-point lead into the final quarter53-47.

Incredibly all Mathew’s could muster up was a mere 11 points coming down the stretch as they outfought, outthought and outbattled when the game hung in the balance.

The star of the show for the winners was the St Mary’s American Le’Jzae Davidson who finished with a game-high 30 points.

It is proving a tough start for the Fr Mathew’s coach Niamh Dwyer with her team still awaiting their first win of the campaign but for the St Mary’s coach Liam Culloty it was a night to remember.

“We were disappointed with our performance against Glanmire but there is great character in this squad and I think that was shown in this game,” said Culloty.

Meanwhile, Fr Mathew's men's team got their Division 1 National League campaign off to a winning start when they had a comfortable 73-64 victory over St Paul’s Killarney.

Mathew’s have assembled a side mixed with experience and youth and player-coach Darko Bucan was delighted with his team’s performance.

“It was a great start to our league campaign and you could see the lads were well up for the game after being so long side-lined with the pandemic. Looking at the league the northern conference seems to be stronger this season but we must take care of business in our own conference and build on this win." 

American Jonathon Garcia finished with 26 points and his performance at both ends of the court made it a debut to remember, with David Murray and Jack O'Mahony sharing another 26 points between them.

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