Killester 86 C & S Neptune 92
C & S Neptune booked their place in the semi-final of the Pat Duffy Men’s National Cup as they saw off Killester in a highly charged clash at the IWA Clontarf.
Neptune had already defeated the Dublin side in a league game at the same venue a fortnight ago but this cup clash was always going to be a test of their character.
For assistant coach Darren Geaney this was a welcome win for his side as they can now enjoy the Christmas period knowing they will be on their home court in early January for a cup semi-final against NIUG Maree.
“I suppose the cup has a special place in the hearts of all basketball folk no matter what grade you are playing in and Killester really battled to the wire against us in this game,” said Geaney.
Neptune have been improving since the season began and coach Geaney believes the guidance and preparation of head coach Colin O’Reilly has been a breath of fresh air to the club.
“Colin is a brilliant coach in how he prepares for games and we certainly had to show true grit but now it's back to our league programme where we will focus on picking up some more points."
In a rip-roaring opening quarter both teams went for the jugular a monstrous Colin O’Reilly three-pointer helped his side reduce the deficit as Killester went in commanding a 25-23 lead entering the second quarter.
The Blackpool side increased their intensity in defence on the restart and with Roy Downey (21 points) continuing with his superb recent form Neptune, went in at the break commanding a 49-46 lead.
The trend of the game didn’t change in the third quarter as both teams continued to play rigid defence and a late Tomas Fernandez three meant Killester reduced the deficit entering the third quarter, 66-62.
Coming down the stretch Neptune had to show their experience as Killester threw the kitchen sink at them in those tense minutes.
The Neptune American Miles Washington had a season-best showing great touches in defence and finishing with an impressive 20 points.
Credit to the Cork side they held their nerve on a tricky court and now they stand one game away from a place in the decider.