National Cup

National Cup
Jan 07 2023

Limerick Celtics advance to IWA National Cup final with victory over Killester

Limerick Celtics are into the IWA National Cup semi-final after defeating Killester 35-52 in Upper Glanmire Sports Hall on Saturday morning.

Tiarnan O’Donnell paved the way on both ends, hitting 30-points to put a threatening Killester team to the sword and set up an enthralling decider against Rebel Wheelers in a two weeks’ time. Killester will look back on a record of just 9% (1/11) from the free-throw line, as they pick the bones of defeat and wonder what might have been.  

The opening half ebbed and flowed as expected in any contest of this magnitude. The imposing O’Donnell opened the scoring within 40-seconds of tip and with the score 10-5 midway through the first, Killester would have been forgiven for letting nerves settle in. They didn’t. Patrick Forbes, a thorn in Celtics’ side throughout, hit back-to-back shots to bring Killester back within three by the end of the first, 14-11.  

Limerick Celtics’ lead jumped out to seven by half-time. O’Donnell established himself as the pre-eminent scoring threat in tandem with an energetic Jodie Waites. The battle between Forbes and O’Donnell was a particular highlight as the game progressed, neither player giving an inch in transition. Killester stayed in touch with their opponents admirably during the third quarter, Bledar Suxha making some crucial contested shots to leave the Dublin side trailing by 11-points, 27-38 as the final period began.

That deficit proved too big an obstacle though. Barry Cooke and Patrick Forbes combined to reduce Limerick’s advantage to 7-points at the start of the fourth, but each time Killester looked like gaining some pivotal momentum, the Munster side’s big players came up with big shots. First Joseph Hargrow, then O’Donnell, who at this point was putting on a shooting clinic. To their credit, Killester didn’t stop competing until the final buzzer, the ball just wouldn’t drop at important junctures.

Quarter Score:

Q1: 11-14

Q2: 17-24

Q3: 27-38

Q4: 35-52

Killester: John Fulham; Patrice Dockery; Mick Cunningham; Alina Clark; Bledar Suxha; Barry Cooke; Joseph Reddin; Michael O’Ceara; Darren Healy; Pauric Franey; Adrian Donoghue; Martin Whelan; Patrick Forbes; Oran Spain. 

Top Scorers: Patrick Forbes (14), Bledar Suxha (8), Barry Cooke (6).

Limerick Celtics: Seamus Long; Joseph Hargrow; Carlos De Bunes; James McCarthy; Tiarnan O’Donnell; Jodie Waite; Aaron Galvin.

Top Scorers: Tiarnan O’Donnell (30), Joseph Hargrow (12), Jodie Waites (8).


Saturday, January 7th - Neptune Stadium IWA Cup semi-finals

Rebel Wheelers 65-28 Southeast Swifts

Saturday, January 7th – Upper Glanmire Sports Hall IWA Cup semi-finals

Killester 35-52 Limerick Celtics