National League

Apr 13 2024

Phoenix Wolves beat Neptune 91-78 to claim U20 Men’s National League Plate

Phoenix Wolves claimed the U20 Men’s National League Plate, with a 91-78 success over Neptune on Saturday morning at the National Basketball Arena. It caps a fine season for the club, having won the U18 Men’s Billy Coffey National Cup in January.

Eight of that U18 squad were involved in their U20 National League campaign, with six involved in the matchday 12. Captain Fiontan Rogers was one of those, and he helped Phoenix Wolves into a narrow 30-27 first quarter lead, with eight points in the quarter.

The game turned in Neptune’s favour in the second, Dylan O’Rourke’s jump shot with a minute to go had them up by 14, 50-36. That deficit was reduced slightly thanks to Ben Martin’s basket in the closing seconds, Neptune ahead 51-40.

Phoenix Wolves brought the game level a little over four minutes into the third, at 57 apiece, following Ben Martin’s three point jump shot. Game MVP Callum Keys meanwhile picked up 10 points in the quarter – he’d finish with 33 overall – and Phoenix were 69-61 to the good at the end of the quarter. 

Fiontan Rogers, Phoenix Wolves captain, during the U20 Men's National League Plate Final at the National Basketball Arena.

A deep three from Rogers got Phoenix Wolves off to the perfect start in the final quarter, up 72-61. A pair of Sean Ryan free-throws had Neptune within nine points, trailing 80-73, with 4’25 left on the clock. But within a 40 seconds, Phoenix had stretched their lead to 12 points, 85-73, thanks to scores from Callum Keys and Rogers’ fourth from the three point line. Emmet Fitzgerald’s three for Neptune with 56 seconds remaining closed the gap to eight, 86-78, but Phoenix weren’t to be reeled in and won it 91-78.

MVP Jacob Byrne said: “It feels great, a lot of our guys were here a few months ago for the U18 National Cup, hopefully it’s a good thing in future we can get ourselves an U20 National Cup as well. 

“That was a tough game, the second quarter was definitely tough, we refreshed our brains and in the third quarter when we came back out Callum, Ben, Fintan, they all hit some big shots to keep us in the game, I am glad I have such confident teammates.”

All games from National League finals weekend are live on, while you can watch ‘Super Sunday’ live on TG4 from 1345 on Sunday, with the Champions Trophy final between Pyrobel Killester and SETU Waterford Wildcats at 2pm, followed by the Super League final featuring Griffith College Éanna and Pyrobel Killester at 4.30pm. Live stats from every game on the Swish All Hoops App.

Phoenix Wolves 91–78 Neptune

Quarter Scores: Q1: 30-27, Q2: 40-51, Q3: 69-61, Q4: 91-78

Phoenix Wolves:

Tom Kearney, Fiontan Rogers, Ben Martin, Jacob Byrne, Callum Keys, Arnas Zal, Eoghan Sherry, Omar Akhonzada, Danny Lavelle, Zach Lynas, Conn Rush

Head Coach: Ryan Berger   

Top Scorers: Callum Keys 33, Fiontan Rogers, Ben Martin (both 16)


Dylan O’Rourke, David Bongcayao, Emmet Fitzgerald, Nathan Power, Ben O’Connell, Lawrence King, Shane McCollum, Sean Ryan, Martins Khidiri, Ciaran Duffy, Pharrell Osayemwenre

Head Coach: Adam Drummond   

Top Scorers: Dylan O’Rourke 18, Ciaran Duffy 12, Sean Ryan 11