UCD Marian 83 Tradehouse Central Ballincollig 84 (after overtime)
MEN’S Super League leaders Tradehouse Central were made battle to the wire before eventually prevailing over a gallant UCD Marian side at Belfield.
In a cracking game, a late Dan James basket ensured overtime was needed to separate the sides as the Ballincollig coach Kieran O’Sullivan reflected on his team's battling performance.
“It was a tough game that we had to pull all our resources out in but in the end games like this test your character.
“I don’t want to sound cocky but we haven’t really had a tight game like this all season so I think coming down the stretch in the league games like this will stand to us.”
The mood in the Marian camp was one of disappointment and frustration as captain Conor Meany spoke about his team’s effort to win.
“We had a chance and left it go but I thought we played well enough to get a win but Ballincollig showed at a crucial stage why they are table toppers,” said Meany.
The home side were well up for the game and with Srdjan Stojanovic nailing some crucial baskets they deservedly led by six points midway through the quarter.
Credit to Ballincollig they increased the tempo and a late Dylan Corkery three-pointer reduced the deficit to 22-19.
In the second quarter, Ballincollig played some excellent defence and with American Andre Nation putting in another serious shift they deservedly led 37-33 at the break.
Indeed the Cork side increased the pressure on UCD in the third quarter and with Milorad Sedlarevic executing some neat baskets they increased their lead to nine points entering the crucial final quarter.
UCD came hard at Ballincollig with some incredible shooting from Stojanovic and American Jonathon Jean as they forced overtime, 70 points each.
Ballincollig found another gear and they needed to as UCD continued to shoot well.
In the end, Sedlarevic, Adrian O’Sullivan and the ultra-consistent Nation came to the fore as they held out to win by the minimum.