UCC Demons head to Dublin with two National Cups in their sights

Northside club left from the Parochial Hall on Friday ahead of the U20 and President's Cup deciders this weekend
UCC Demons head to Dublin with two National Cups in their sights

UCC Demons supporters Adam O'Leary and Ava O'Mahony with players Seamus Kearney, Tala Fam Thiam and Stevan Manojlovic at the Parochial Hall prior to the team's departure for the basketball finals in Dublin. Picture: Larry Cummins.

UCC DEMONS will be hoping they can produce their best form when they play Drogheda Wolves in the President’s National Cup final at the National Basketball Arena.

Demons will go into the game as favourites but coach Danny O’Mahony believes it’s too close to call as their opponents have many quality players that cannot be underestimated.

“We simply cannot afford to be cocky as many teams have bit the dust as favourites in cup finals and we do not want to join that list,” said O’Mahony.

UCC Demons coach Danny O'Mahony with his parents Pat and Norma. Picture: Larry Cummins.
UCC Demons coach Danny O'Mahony with his parents Pat and Norma. Picture: Larry Cummins.

Demons came up against a quality Sligo All-Stars side in the semi-final but won in style despite a late rally by the westerners.

“We should have been out of sight but credit to Sligo they kept battling but in the end, we had the ammunition to complete the job.

“Sligo are a top team that I was reminded about on many occasions before we played them but the work we did in the build-up to the game stood for us,” added O’Mahony.

Demons have a nice balance to their squad and Irish Men’s Senior captain Kyle Hosford is the main man in keeping shape to the team.

When Demons came under pressure in the Sligo win Hosford stood up to be counted and produced key baskets.

In the words of O’Mahony Hosford’s influence has been key all season.

UCC Demons Kyle Hosford puts his bag on the team bus before getting on the road to the basketball finals in Dublin. Picture: Larry Cummins.
UCC Demons Kyle Hosford puts his bag on the team bus before getting on the road to the basketball finals in Dublin. Picture: Larry Cummins.

“Kyle likes to work with the young guys in our team during the training sessions and his form all season has been sensational and hopefully he will come good for us again in this final.” 

Demons have a Spanish ace in Tala Thiam Fam whose athleticism is a joy to watch.

Fam is consistently in double figures for his side and has given various Americans problems this season as he is a tough player to restrict.

Another key player for Demons is point guard Jack O’Leary who will also be involved with the club's U20 team who are playing UCD Marian in the decider tonight at basketball headquarters.

UCC Demons U20 and senior players Jack O'Leary and Matthew McCarthy chatting with Cllr Tony Fitzgerald. Picture: Larry Cummins.
UCC Demons U20 and senior players Jack O'Leary and Matthew McCarthy chatting with Cllr Tony Fitzgerald. Picture: Larry Cummins.

O’Leary is cool at the point as his ability to shoot and pass is testament to the skills this young man possesses.

Danish-born Toby Christensen has been a good signing for Demons as he is a good finisher but in this final, he will need to avoid picking up silly fouls.

The mood in the Drogheda camp is one of elation as they are competing in a national final for the first time in the club’s history. In American Lucas Walford they have a talented player and with the McGroarty brothers, Padraig and Ciaran, Demons will need to have a solid defence.

For head coach Gavin Garland win or lose it will be a day to remember for his club.

“There are so many hard-working volunteers in our club that reaching this final is down to their efforts in keeping the show on the road and let’s hope we can repay them,” said Gavin Garland.

Picture: Larry Cummins.
Picture: Larry Cummins.

The Drogheda boss is under no illusions of the task that lies of his team.

“We know the quality Demons possess and we will have to produce a season-best even to compete with them but it’s not beyond us and let’s hope we do ourselves justice on the day,” added Garland.

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