Neptune hitting top form at the right time; next up Ballincollig

Colin O'Reilly guided his side to a third victory this season away to Killester and they move into the Super League semi-final full of confidence
Neptune hitting top form at the right time; next up Ballincollig

C & S Neptune's player/coach Colin O'Reilly has words for Roy Downey, Gary Walsh and James Hannigan. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Killester 84 C & S Neptune 90 

C & S NEPTUNE produced top-quality basketball to book a semi-final clash against Tradehouse Central Ballincollig in the Men’s Super League following a stunning win over Killester at the IWA Clontarf.

Neptune, without Cian Heaphy who is on vacation in New York, still found their best form to topple the Dublin side for the third time this season on their home court.

The mood in the Neptune camp was one of elation as assistant coach Darren Geaney praised all concerned with the squad. They seem to be hitting the high notes when it matters, having lost the National Cup final to Tralee at the end of January.

Geaney said: “This was a courageous performance against a very good side and now we can go into a semi-final against Ballincollig on the back of three impressive wins.” 

Right from tip-off, both teams went for the jugular but with the Killester American Kason Harrell showing some deft moves to the hoop it helped his side lead by the minimum midway through the opening quarter.

Neptune had a good evening outside the arc in this period with captain Roy Downey nailing a brace but they trailed by the minimum 22-21 entering the second quarter.

On the restart Neptune’s defence was excellent and with Catalonian ace Aleix Terradellas hurting Killester they soon commanded a six-point lead in the 15th minute.

In the closing minutes before the interval, both teams continued to play high tempo basketball and with player-coach Colin O’Reilly nailing consecutive daggers outside the arc the Blackpool outfit deservedly led 45-39 at the break.

All season the Neptune captain Roy Downey has played the best basketball of his career at this level and he once again showed his eye for the basket when scoring nine of Neptune’s 12 points in the third period.

Killester were now against the ropes but American Harrell and Ciaran Roe kept them within striking distance despite trailing 70-60 entering the final quarter.

The tension was clear to see coming down the stretch as Killester increased the intensity in defence.

Neptune, marshalled by O’Reilly, refused to panic. 

They can now look forward to a semi-final against Ballincollig in a winner-takes-all clash of the titans.

Top scorers for Killester: K Harrell 37, C Roe 17, T Fernandez 10.

C & S Neptune: R Downey 20, R Gittens 17, A Terradellas 16.

Referees: L Perry (Dublin), A Statkus (Dublin), H Kutijevac (Dublin).

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