Cork basketball: Derby defeat for Demons as Emporium push on in the second half

A full house in the Mardyke but no joy for the hosts against Ballincollig
Cork basketball: Derby defeat for Demons as Emporium push on in the second half

Stefan Manojovic, UCC Demons, tries to stop Ciaran O'Sullivan, Emporium Cork Basketball, from scoring at the Mardyke Arena. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

UCC Demons 62 Emporium Cork Basketball 81 

A SOLID display from Emporium Cork Basketball was good enough to see off a disappointing UCC Demons before another capacity attendance at the Mardyke Arena.

Not the greatest game witnessed at this magnificent venue but Emporium Cork Basketball will not worry about that, following up on the emphatic victory over Moycullen on the opening day.

Demons got off to the perfect start when Kyle Hosford nailed a three in the opening minute that saw Ballincollig respond with a brace of John Dawson free throws.

Although Demons American Jeremiah Moore followed up with a second three for Demons they were punished again from the line by Dawson.

As we saw in the first derby game Hosford is definitely back to his best and he followed up with a beautiful move to the hoop.

In the opening five minutes, Ballincollig looked tentative, particularly in defence, but they did get a run in fifth minute that saw them reduce the deficit to four points.

Indeed it was mystifying that Demons went small midway through this period with Moore and Kingsley Nwagboso sitting it out. Both sides were guilty of missing easy scoring opportunities with 1.35 remaining Demons still commanded a seven-point lead: 20-13.

The home side were punished with a buzzer-beater Jose Jimenez Gonzalez three-pointer that reduced the deficit to seven points 25-18.

On the restart, the game continued to be played at high tempo with Adrian O’Sullivan getting Ballincollig back into the groove with a stunning three-pointer clipping the lead to four points in the 14th minute.

The overall play was sloppy and whether it was start-of-the-season cobwebs or not, neither side offered up quality basketball.

Keelan Cairns was the one with a hot hand for Ballincollig and his third basket outside the arc levelled proceedings at 32 points each with 2.36 remaining to the interval.

The sloppy play from Demons in the closing minutes as some of their shooting and passing options cost them dearly.

Some poor rotations from Demons gave Ballincollig the opportunity to get back in the game and when Adrian O’Sullivan produced a wonderful flowing buzzer-beater basket it gave the Ballincollig side a four-point interval lead, 41-37.

Looking at the first half, Ballincollig's Spanish guard Pau Cami Galera dominated both ends of the floor and it was quite simple with the exception of Kyle Hosford, Demons didn’t look dangerous with Tala Fam sitting and American Moore sitting out far too long.

 Kyle Hosford, UCC Demons, takes on Dylan Corkery, Emporium Cork Basketball. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Kyle Hosford, UCC Demons, takes on Dylan Corkery, Emporium Cork Basketball. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Jimenez Gonzalez nailed consecutive shots outside the paint although Fam did register a similar basket.

Kyle Hosford was ejected in the 23rd minute for an unsportsmanlike foul dubious to say the least and after picking up a technical in the first half he had to depart the gym. 

Demons' 12-point tally in the second quarter was paltry and their drought continued on the restart as they trailed 52-44 midway through this period.

When you look at how Ballincollig were set up in the offensive court in comparison to Demons they were way ahead in structure. Jimenez Gonzalez (18) continued to hurt Demons and his fade-away jumper with three minutes remaining in the quarter gave his team a 13-point lead.

In comparison to last week's derby clash at Neptune this game never ignited. Demons will be worried as their spread of scoring was well below the required standard at this level.

The closing minutes were X-rated for Demons as they couldn’t buy a basket and it was no surprise they trailed 61-47 entering the fourth quarter.

Adrian O’Sullivan shot his third three-pointer on the restart but Demons responded and a Carleton Cuff basket and bonus reduced it to eight points. That’s as good as it got for Demons, as their challenge petered with Ballincollig running out deserving comfortable winners.

DEMONS: J Hannigan, J Moore, S Carney, R Moore, K Hosford, S Hannigan, D Lehane, T Fam, V Bykov, C Cuff, C Looney, K Nwagboso, S Manojovic, K Moynihan.

EMPORIUM: C O’Sullivan, R O’Sullivan, A O’Sullivan, K Cairns, D Corkery, P Lucey, A O’Connor, J Dawson, S O’Flynn, P Cami Gallera, C Blount, L O’Sullivan, P Lucey, J Cotter, J Jimenez.

Referees: M Nazimek (Dublin), C White (Dublin), J Malysko (Dublin).

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