National League

Apr 13 2024

UCD Marian promoted to Super League with 94-81 win over Moy Tolka Rovers

UCD Marian secured promotion to the Super League thanks to a 94-81 win over Moy Tolka Rovers in the Division One final. They return to the top flight of Irish basketball at the first time of asking, having been relegated last season.

The pacy Jonathan Jean was crucial to the win, claiming the MVP award with 34 points, five rebounds and seven assists.

Jonathan Jean finished with 34 points as he claimed the MVP in the Division One Final.

UCD Marian edged the opening quarter, leading 25-19, Jean was his usual prolific self, helping himself to 10 points for Ioannis Liapakis’ side.

Four minutes into the second quarter Moy Tolka Rovers got level, at 31-31, following a Jaja Davis three point jump shot – Davis would score 31 points for his side. UCD Marian opened up a five point lead, 37-32, with three minutes to go, following another Jean three, his third of the day. A pair of Karlo Lebo free throws edged Moy Tolka Rovers 45-44 ahead, but it would be UCD Marian marginally in front, 46-45, at the break.

Jaja Davis, of Moy Tolka Rovers, during Division One Final 

UCD Marian pulled clear in the third, Jean once again instrumental, his layup with three minutes to put them nine clear, at 64-55. But with 30 seconds to go in the quarter a fast break and layup by Daniel Ayoade saw the deficit cut to two, 66-64. Conor Meany had the final say in the quarter, with a long range three to extend UCD Marian’s lead once more, 69-64.

It was a two point game once more two minutes into the final quarter, 71-69, after another Ayoade layup. But Jean was proving too hot to handle, another layup had UCD Marian 82-71 with 4’40 remaining, the American had 32 points to his name at that stage. UCD Marian remained composed in the stretch to seal a 94-81 win.

Captain Conor Meany said: “It’s unbelievable, I told Ioannis (Liapakis) back in the summer that I thought I wanted to be part of the group, last year was terrible for the young lads, so I wanted to be back and do what I thought we could and get back to Super League. I am delighted, it has been a long season, and the lads have developed so much and I think we believe we’re a Super League club and we’re delighted to be back home where we belong.”

Asked whether it was his final game, Meany added: “I say it is, my wife doesn’t believe me, so we will see. You are not a proper Irish basketballer until you’ve retired a few times! I think it’s time to leave it, but if it is the last day it’s as good a day as you could possibly wish for." 

UCD Marian captain Conor Meany celebrates with Jonathan Jean 

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.

UCD Marian 94–81 Moy Tolka Rovers   

Quarter Scores: Q1: 25-19, Q2: 46-45, Q3: 69-64, Q4: 94-81

UCD Marian:

Leonardo Marcon, Conor Meany, Paraic Moran, Sean O’Flynn, Luke Gilleran, Ronan Byrne, Matthew McGrath, Sotiris Maltiadis, Tobias Christensen, Sasha French, Jonathan Jean, Sean Brady

Head Coach: Ioannis Liapakis    

Top Scorers: Jonathan Jean 34, Tobias Christensen 15, Sasha French 12

Moy Tolka Rovers:

Daniel Ayoade, Rory Howe, Ethan Farrelly, Marcus Black, Jaja Davis, Elijah Faapito, Samuel Badejo, Daniel Russell, Karlo Lebo, Mark Convery

Head Coach: Hunor Harkai

Top Scorers: Jaja Davis 31, Karlo Lebo 22, Elijah Faapito 10