IT was a hectic basketball weekend for Men’s Super League leaders Tradehouse Central Ballincollig as they had a double-header against Kerry rivals Tralee Warriors.
Ballincollig have had a tremendous first season in the Super League and were unbeaten up to their trip to the Tralee. In a tense game, the Warriors came out on top in a high scoring game 94-90 that set up the clash 24 hours later at the Ballincollig Community School.
The second game saw both teams play better defence but Ballincollig helped by a monstrous Adrian O’Sullivan three-pointer in the fourth quarter helped them see out a 79-73 win. Andre Nation was exceptional again: 35 points on Saturday and another game-high on Sunday of 22. His defence was as good as his offence in both games.
By virtue of this win, Ballincollig were crowned Southern Conference champions and the prize for this is a quarter-final against the fourth-placed team in the Northern Conference. Three victories from there and the league title is theirs.
It was also a busy weekend for C & S Neptune that began on Saturday afternoon with a win against Moycullen.
The lack of attendance at the Neptune Stadium this season and hugely disappointing.
After a slow first half, Neptune showed greater hunger as they amazingly outscored their opponents 31-8 in the third period.
On Sunday they travelled to play Belfast Star and lost by the minimum in a game that they was originally slated for the week before their cup final loss to Tralee. The biggest problem in recent weeks for Neptune has been the lack of numbers from their American duo of Miles Washington and Richaud Gittens.
There is a genuine belief in the Neptune camp they can make a bold bid in the play-offs their recent performances do not suggest they have the required firepower.
In the Women’s Super League The Address UCC Glanmire maintained their lead following a comfortable win over IT Carlow. Wednesday night will be a key game for Glanmire when they host joint-second Waterford Wildcats in a game sponsored by Ryan’s Supervalu at Upper Glanmire (7.45pm).
Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell maintained their title challenge against a gritty Trinity Meteors side.
They were fortunate Player of the Match Edel Thornton and Simone O’Shea played outstanding defence when the game hung in the balance.
Fr Mathew’s season went from bad to worse when they lost heavily at Liffey Celtics.
In the Men’s Division 1 National League, Fr Mathew’s took a big scalp when defeating UL Sporting Eagles.
Mathew’s, under the coaching partnership of Darko Bucan and Niall O’Reilly, have been competitive all season, but this was a huge boost.
UCC Demons were given a rare fright at home by a rejuvenated Scott’s Lakers Killarney, who have recently signed a quality American guard in Godwin Boahen who finished with a game-high 37 points.
Demons did manage to win by 10 points but they look like a side that’s sliding and the injury picked up by Kyle Hosford is what they needed as they chase promotion.