C and S Neptune cause upset with win over reigning champions UCD Marian
Allie Le Claire in fine form for Liffey Celtics as they defeat Fr Mathews in Leixlip
Kieran Donaghy (right) and Paul Dick of Tralee Warriors. The team won a big-time battle with Templeogue on Saturday
Lehmon Colbert was the star, scoring 22 points in a victory that will mean a lot to head coach Paul Kelleher and the Cork club after a rollercoaster opening few weeks to the season. The win marks Neptune’s third consecutive victory following on from victories over Maree and Killorglin in recent weeks, and speaking afterwards a thrilled Kelleher said: “We worked really, really hard this week. It’s still an early time in the league. We still have so many more improvements to make, but today is a day we will enjoy for a few hours and then back to work on Monday.”
Meanwhile, Tralee Warriors were celebrating the whole way back to Kerry on Saturday evening as they won a big-time battle with Templeogue, 93-99. The showdown was a hugely-anticipated affair after Tralee had pipped the reigning cup champions in the opening round of the cup in Dublin a matter of weeks ago.
While revenge may have been on the cards for the Dubliners, Tralee had other ideas, with Paul Dick the stand-out performer on the night – vital at both ends of the court throughout the game.
New American signing Keith Jumper also slotted in nicely to coach Pat Price’s set-up and speaking afterwards Price was thrilled with the win. “Templeogue are terrific. They made everything difficult for us, they were really well prepared, and this win was earned. I’m very proud of the guys in how we responded in the second half. I think we were more assertive on offense and Paul Dick made some great plays.”
Elsewhere, Maree men came agonisingly close to an upset victory over Pyrobel Killester on Saturday evening in Oranmore, but lost out in a thrilling overtime battle, 86-91. Maree came back from a 19-point deficit to force overtime after a miraculous three pointer from Sean Sellers, who finished the game with a whopping 43 points. Ciaran Roe dealt the death blow to Maree’s hopes though, as he shot home two free throws at the end of overtime to put the game beyond Maree’s reach.
UCC Demons played out a thriller against an in-form DCU Saints team in Cork, winning out by just one in the end, 85-84. Going down early by nine in the first three minutes, Colin O’Reilly’s side were slow to get back into the game and it took a late fourth-quarter surge, led by talisman Kyle Hosford (27 points) to help Demons edge out their Dublin opponents.
“We really made hard work of it,” Hosford said afterwards. “It’s been a tough year as we’ve been down bodies, but it showed what we can do when we play as a team.”
Meanwhile, Belfast Star remain top of the men’s Super League table this week as they notched a seventh win in-a-row on Saturday evening, winning out a thrilling 78-88 point battle on the road to Kerry sideKillorglin.
Head coach Adrian Fulton said: “It was probably the worst start we have had all year! Killorglin were excellent, and Daniel Jokabitius gave us all sorts of problems. Yet again we got terrific contributions off the bench to help us get a foothold in the game. The league is relentless, every week is a huge challenge.”
Moycullen are now bottom of the men’s Super League after a 108-88 loss at the hands of Swords Thunder. Moycullen were led by Isaiah Harris-Winn who had 27 points but it was not enough as a superb 33 point effort from Thunder’s Elijah Mays guided his team home to victory.
Over in the women’s Super League, Fr Mathews lost out to high-flying Liffey Celtics in Leixlip on Saturday, 67-56. Shannon Brady continued her fine form leading the visitors with 14 points, but Allie Le Claire (16) was fantastic as usual for the league leaders to help see them home to victory.
Ambassador UCC Glanmire ran out comfortable 78-40 winners against WIT Wildcats in the Mardyke Arena Saturday evening. L’mani Davis was the standout for Mark Scannell’s side, notching 27 points in a game that never looked out of the home side’s reach.
Brunell were also comfortable victors in the Parochial Hall on Sunday afternoon, fending off IT Carlow 81-62. Brunell did all of their work in the first half, shooting the lights out to go into the break up 54-30. The win comes after a tough loss last week away to WIT Wildcats, and Tim O’Halloran was delighted to see his team back to winning ways.
“A win is a win for us at the end of the day,” the Brunell coach said. “We had a tough few weeks, so it’s good to get a win before we play Glanmire during the week. That’s always a highlight in the calendar for us.”
Marble City Hawks won their must-win bottom of the table clash with NUIG Mystics on Saturday night, winning 60-34. The result sees Mystics bottom of the table as they have yet to secure a victory in the season.
DCU Mercy, meanwhile, had the better of Killester on Sunday afternoon in a big Dublin derby, running out 81-60 point winners at the university. Huge displays from Irish internationals Sarah Woods and Rachel Huijsdens were the difference for the hosts as they fended off a tough and determined Killester side.