Ballincollig basketballers' 10th win seals Southern Conference title

Tradehouse Central Ballincollig have won 10 league games in a row, though the overall title will be decided through the playoffs
Ballincollig basketballers' 10th win seals Southern Conference title

Keelan Cairns had a big game for Ballincollig against DCU. Picture: Domnick Walsh

Bright DCU Saints 73 Tradehouse Central Ballincollig 90 

ANOTHER superb display on the road from Men’s Super League leaders Tradehouse Central Ballincollig ensured they saw off Bright DCU Saints at the DCU complex on Saturday.

The Cork side went into the game minus Dylan Corkery but they always had too much for the Dublin side who have struggled for the majority of this campaign.

For the Ballincollig coach Kieran O’Sullivan it was all about getting the result, a 10th win without defeat, and maintaining their title challenge.

O’Sullivan said: “I think we always had enough and had some good performances from Padraig Lucey and Keelan Cairns. Our performance in the third quarter probably sealed this win for us.”

Ballincollig were quickest from the blocks and three consecutive three-pointers from Keelan Cairns, Andre Nation and Adrian O’Sullivan settled them into the action.

The home side were battling hard to stay in the game and a late Jonathon Gordon baseline jumper ensured they reduced the Ballincollig deficit to six points 18-12.

On the restart, the home side played far better basketball as they posed Ballincollig problems with some neat play in the offence court.

To be fair Ballincollig didn’t lose their shape and with Adrian O’Sullivan leading by example, they still had a 10-point lead midway through the quarter.

Ben Durox and Kevin Lacey finished with baskets as the sides shared 44 points with Ballincollig still in the driving seat at the break when commanding a six-point lead 40-34 lead.

To be fair coach O’Sullivan regrouped his players at the break as they blitzed their Dublin opponents on the restart.

In this campaign, the Ballincollig American Nation has been sensational and he showed his class again in this period and with Keelan Cairns nailing three outside the arc they were soon in pole position.

In the closing minutes, the Saints battled to get back in the game but with Ballincollig outscoring them 28-16 they took an 18 point lead into the final quarter.

This was another clinical Ballincollig display that all but seals the Southern Conference with both Neptune and Tralee Warriors losing. The league title will be decided by play-offs.

Top scorers for Tradehouse Central Ballincollig: A Nation 24, K Cairns 16, P Lucey 14.

Bright DCU Saints: J Gordon 19, K Lacey 19, B Durox 15. 

SAINTS: J Harding, M Neary, D Monaghan, K Lacey, K Keane, G Jefferey, G Brannley, A Costache, J Brooks, B Durox.

BALLINCOLLIG: A O’Sullivan, A Nation, A O’Connor, S O'Flynn, P Cami Galera, C O’Sullivan, C Blount, C Blount, P Lucey, J Kelly, M Sedlarevic, K Cairns.

Referees: M Landos (Dublin), B Fonwick (Dublin), G Simkus (Dublin).

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