UCC Demons have too much firepower for Limerick Celtics

Only concern for the hosts after a feisty Division 1 game in the Parochial Hall was an injury to Kyle Hosford
UCC Demons have too much firepower for Limerick Celtics

Tobias Christensen, UCC Demons, in action against Limerick Celtics at the Parochial Hall. Picture: Larry Cummins. 

UCC Demons 90 Limerick Celtics 73 

UCC DEMONS maintained their unbeaten record in the Men’s Division 1 National League following a comfortable win over Limerick Celtics at the Parochial Hall on Saturday night.

A player from each side was ejected following a mini-brawl with six minutes remaining but it didn't take from Demons' dominance, commanding a 20-point lead at that juncture.

However, discipline is crucial in any sport and if Demons are to win the battle for promotion they will need to get it right in that department.

The one big worry they have coming out of this game is an injury picked up early in the second half by Kyle Hosford as the Irish captain sat out the remainder of the game.

The Shannonsiders were quickest from the blocks and with Ralf Martinez shooting the ball extremely well they led 12-6 midway through the opening quarter.

Demons were sloppy in the early exchanges but they did manage to execute two unanswered baskets that reduced the deficit to 16-14 with 2.28 left in this period.

The one puzzling factor was why Demons didn’t man-mark Martinez who was destroying them outside the arc when the home side decided to stay in zone defence.

A time out saw Demons score 11 unanswered points with Jack O’Leary excelling at the point.

At the end of the quarter, Demons led 27-22 but they needed huge improvement as they only played in the closing minutes of the first quarter.

On the restart, the overall play from both sides was rather scrappy but Hosford began showing his class as his side still led 31-28 in the 13th minute.

 Kyle Hosford rises to score for UCC Demons. Picture: Larry Cummins. 
Kyle Hosford rises to score for UCC Demons. Picture: Larry Cummins. 

Demons defence improved when they changed tactics in defence as they showed far more intensity but they still only commanded a 37-31 lead with three minutes remaining to the interval.

Four consecutive Celtics baskets edged them ahead by two points as Demons continued to miss easy baskets but a late Tala Fam basket ensured they went in at the break with a three-point lead 45-42.

In fairness, Demons looked capable of upping the pressure at any stage and in the third quarter, the true talent of their Spanish star Tala Thiam Fam ensured the game was put to bed.

Fam is an incredible athlete and his four baskets at the start of this period killed off Celtics hopes.

Danish star Toby Christensen, who came in to replace American Andre Kennedy, had a decent game when finishing with 30 points but he needs to play more with his back to the basket instead of just shooting threes.

Leading 68-57 heading into the final quarter Demons never looked back and although Limerick Celtics battled to the wire they never looked likely to upset the odds.

 Ryan Murphy, captain of UCC Demons. Picture: Larry Cummins. 
Ryan Murphy, captain of UCC Demons. Picture: Larry Cummins. 

Top scorers for UCC Demons: T Christensen 30, T Thiam Fam 29, D Lehane 11.

Limerick Celtics: R Sanahuja 20, R Martinez 17, A Walford 16.

UCC DEMONS: S Manovic, S Carney, R Murphy, K Hosford, D Lehane, T Thiam Fam, K Hosford, M McCarthy, C Looney, C Ryan, K Moynihan, T Christensen.

CELTICS: J Hughes-Keane, J Hehir, A Wolford, C Hegarty, M Frawley, R Cronin, J Galvin, L Broderick, P O’Connor, D Akude, T Walsh, R Sanahuja, R Martinez, J Lynch, G Myles.

Referees: A Cleary, A Pauliukenai (Dublin).

In the Men’s Division 1 National League, Fr Mathew's were defeated at home by the in-form IT Carlow who ran out 84-77 winners.

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