Roy Downey shines for Ireland in win over Cyprus 

Roy Downey shines for Ireland in win over Cyprus 

Roy Downey of Ireland in action against Filippos Vasileios Tigkas of Cyprus during the FIBA EuroBasket 2025 Pre-Qualifiers First Round Group A match between Ireland and Cyprus at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght, Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

THE performance of Roy Downey in Ireland’s 83-75 extra time win over Cyprus in Dublin on Sunday brought many plaudits for the 28 year-old Neptune star.

Downey got his first senior international cap midweek in the Ireland’s defeat in Switzerland but he didn’t figure too much in that game despite performing well in his restricted minutes.

Credit to the coaching team in Ireland they recognized Downey’s skills and introduced him as sixth man and he rewarded their faith with a 16 point contribution and a near man of the match performance.

There was a good Cork representation in the Irish squad with UCC Demons Kyle Hosford captaining the side, Cian Heaphy of Neptune, Adrian O'Sullivan and Jordan Blount who is playing professional basketball in Iceland.

In the case of Heaphy, he didn’t get many minutes to show his true talent but just like Downey has the ability to make it big time at this level.

The Address UCC Glanmire have one hand on the Women’s Super League title following consecutive weekend wins against Liffey Celtics and Fr Mathew’s.

In truth with two games left in the campaign Glanmire can afford to lose one and next up is a trip to Dublin next weekend to play great rivals DCU Mercy.

A win would wrap up the championship and no doubt coach Mark Scannell will want to win the title on the court of their great Dublin rivals.

There were plenty of heroes for Glanmire on their weekend double but none more than American Carrie Shepherd who had a total of 66 points in her two games.

On Saturday Shepherd chipped in with 31 points against Liffey Celtics but it was her display against Fr Mathew’s that had people raving when she added 35 more.

Shepherd is not only a superb scorer she actually plays some wonderful defence and has quick hands similar to the legendary Blue Demons player of the eighties and nineties William ‘Mono’ McCarthy.

 Forward Carrie Shepherd scores for The Address UCC Glanmire. Fr Mathew's vs The Address UCC Glanmire in the Womens Basketball at Mardyke Arena.
Forward Carrie Shepherd scores for The Address UCC Glanmire. Fr Mathew's vs The Address UCC Glanmire in the Womens Basketball at Mardyke Arena.

Fr Mathew’s have had a horrendous season and they will need major changes if they are ever going to make a bid again to win honours at this level.

Many of their players have underachieved in this campaign and there will be plenty of soul searching to do in the coming months for the Model Farm Road based club.

Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell have certainly pushed Glanmire and their comfortable win away to Waterford Wildcats showed they were never going to throw the towel in.

It has been tremendous season for the ‘Nellies’ but they have come against a superb Glanmire side who defeated them twice in the league and also in the National Cup semi-final.

Ironically, Brunell also recruited two good Americans in Kwanze Murray and Shannon Ryan and with Edel Thornton back at the club they have the basis of a good side.

It would be nice if their loyal sponsor Tomas Singleton was rewarded with a national title win but they are not far away and no doubt they will continue in their bid to one day finally reach the Holy Grail.

Fr Mathew’s Men’s team are competing in the Men’s Division One National league and they had a superb extra time away win over IT Carlow last weekend.

Player coach Darko Bucan and his assistant Niall O’Reilly have done very well with this inexperienced squad and having lost Jack O’Mahony they are continuing to give their all in every game.

The latest win will be a big help to their Cork neighbours UCC Demons who will seal the number one slot when they will host IT Carlow on Sunday next who are the only team to have defeated them this season.

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