Dave Lehane fires UCC Demons to success with incredible shooting

Lehane, who scored 24 points was the standout player in Demons' win over Drogheda in the Presidents' Cup final
Dave Lehane fires UCC Demons to success with incredible shooting

UCC Demons' David Lehane delivered when it mattered against Wolves. Picture: INPHO/Evan Treacy

UCC DEMONS, after a poor start and a sensational performance from Dave Lehane, captured the Presidents' Cup with a superb 19 win over Drogheda on Saturday afternoon.

They were clearly the better team, but it took them a while to get to grips with the outside shooting of Drogheda, but once they did, they were worthy winners with Toby Christensen and Tala Fam Thiam also impressing for Danny O'Mahony's side.

O'Mahony coached a great game and deserves the praise that comes his way for this success. 

UCC Demons started the game very slowly and for the first four minutes played little or no defence allowing Drogheda hit three early three-pointers to race into a 13-4 lead.

And with their main scoring threat Tala Fam Thiam on the bench after picking up two early fouls, Demons looked in trouble.

But coach Danny Mahony settled his troops after he called a timeout with Drogheda ahead 17-9 and four minutes to play in the opening quarter.

From there to the end of the quarter they upped their defensive intensity, changed tactics and went full-court press to knock Drogheda out of their stride.

Suddenly Demons were getting lay-ups and easy shots and at the end of the first they led 23-22 despite playing poorly for most of the opening 10 minutes.

Toby Christensen was their key man hitting 13 points to lead all scorers.

CRUCIAL

A super start to the second quarter by Dave Lehane who hit five unanswered points saw Demons race into a 32-24 lead with seven to play in the opening half.

Lehane continued to score and Demons were soon ahead 39-24 with just over four to play, but a late Drogheda revival saw them cut the lead to six points 41-35, at the break reminding Demons that this final was far from over and they were not going to go away.

Christensen was now on 16 points while Lehane with nine in the quarter took his tally to 13.

Drogheda started the third quarter the better team and the Demons players who were getting frustrated with the officials went away from their team game.

They were playing way too fast and loose and taking some crazy shot options forcing Danny Mahony to call a timeout to settle them down, but they still led 48-37 with over four to play in the third quarter.

Lehane, fouled shooting two three-pointers in a row made the six free throws and suddenly Demons were 15 ahead, 56-41 and in control.

Incredibly, Lehane was fouled again shortly after shooting another three, but this time he could only make two from three but the score was now 58-41 in Demons favour.

Lehane was now on 21 points, the game’s top scorer and looking like the game’s MVP as Demons led 67-45 with 10 minutes to play.

The final quarter was Demons to enjoy and that they did. 

With Lehane, Tala Fam Thiam, Toby Christensen and Kyle Hosford all continuing to play well Demons were able to run and gun as much as they liked, empty the bench and lead 80-56 with just over four minutes to play.

Lehane ended the game with 24 points and he was easily the player that made the difference for the Cork side when the game was in the melting pot during the second and third quarters.

Joy for Ryan Murphy. Picture: INPHO/Evan Treacy
Joy for Ryan Murphy. Picture: INPHO/Evan Treacy

Demons are champions. Demons are back. Not that they were away for long. Who would bet against them winning the league? Not this pundit.

The double must be the goal now.

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