National League

Jan 29 2023

Round-up: Garveyโ€™s Tralee Warriors and UCC Demons come out on top in enthralling Super League affairs

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors and UCC Demons laid down a marker to the rest of the league going into the business end of the Super League season with victories in two enthralling affairs against Emporium Cork Basketball and DBS Éanna, respectively.

Top billing of the weekend goes to the game in Ballincollig. Emporium Cork Basketball (8-3) let a 14-point lead slip against Garvey’s Tralee Warriors before John Dawson put them back up by one with two seconds left on the clock. A last roll of the dice from John Dowling’s team saw Daniel Jokubaitis launch a long pass to Eoin Quigley who rose highest to catch and lay-up to give the Kerry side (5-7) an 88-87 victory. Dre Jackson top scored with 26, while Adrian O’Sullivan notched 20 for Emporium Cork Basketball.

“Winning a game like that is always hard on a team. We’re glad that we came out the right side, but I felt overall we dug deep in the second half and got back to playing tough defence and executing our offence - happy for the guys, they have worked hard and got what they deserved,” John Dowling said post-game.

Last month’s player of the month MJ Randolph of UCC Demons starred with a 37-point haul as he helped the Cork outfit to a 9-4 record with a 100-90 win over DBS Éanna - their fifth league win in succession. Both sides were quick out of the block, going in 32 each after the first, but Daniel O’Mahony’s team opened up a 10-point gap that was never bridged in the next. Cork native Sean Jenkins of DBS Éanna scored 29 in defeat.

Speaking after the game, head coach Daniel O’Mahony said: “It was a great game, both teams shot the ball extremely well in the opening quarter . We stuck to the game plan and winning the second quarter was overall the difference after 40 mins. Some great individual performances from both sides and a really great game to be a part of.”

Belfast Star head coach Adrian Fulton said that the performance in the 90-83 victory over Killester gives his side confidence that they can compete with anyone in the country, They are proving to be one of the standard-bearers in this year’s campaign, sitting on a 10-3 record. Although they lost Max Cooper to a dislocated shoulder, Fulton praised the team effort in digging deep to grind out the win. Paul Dick led the scoring with 25.

Speaking after the game, Adrian Fulton said: “A great battle between two good teams. Delighted to come out on top in this one. We had lots of good individual performances and our bench was terrific. That performance gives us confidence that we can compete with anyone in the country as I think Killester are a very good side.”

Max Cooper, after starting the game really well, dislocated his shoulder in an unfortunate accidental clash with Paul Dick. He went straight to the hospital and got immediate attention, but it was out for almost two hours. We just don't know how long a recovery process it will be, but clearly we are all hoping and praying that he will be okay.”

Source: Michelle LaGrue

[Shon] Briggsy was very good yet again but Max Richardson who has been great for us this season on and off the court got in foul trouble. So it was really up to our home based players to step up and they did. In particular, the Quinns, Oisin Kerlin and Conor Johnston all played a big part in the victory. But all 11 on our roster played and they all contributed so that's very encouraging.”

Griffith College Templeogue head coach Mark Keenan praised the ‘huge baskets’ late in the game as his side edged the Dublin derby against UCD Marian in the National Basketball Arena. The Jonathan Jean 30-point haul wasn’t enough for his side, while Francis Mulvihill (21) top scored for the victors.

“Delighted to get the win tonight. We had an excellent second quarter to turn the game around for us. Our defence turned up a few notches to hold UCD Marian to 11 points. Things got very tight down the stretch, but the guys came up with huge baskets to claim the win. Happy with a lot of our performance, but still plenty to get better at,” added Mark Keenan.

Pat Duffy Cup champions University of Galway Maree (10-3) came back from 12 down in the third to get over the line against an improving Moycullen. MVP from last week’s final Jarrett Haines (21) top scored, while Grant Olsson’s 15 points in defeat led the way for the hosts.

“Great win in a tough game. Our prep this week hasn’t been ideal for a derby game but got over the line none the less. Credit to Moycullen they played a great game and it wasn’t looking good for us at some points. A touch of class also pregame, all of our team really appreciated it,” said head coach Charlie Crowley.

Energywise Ireland Neptune (8-5) recorded an emphatic 113-77 win over Flexachem KCYMS (3-10) at Neptune Stadium. New recruit Tarkus Ferguson buoyed his team to victory with 25 points in a statement performance for Colin O’Reilly’s men.

Bright St. Vincent’s secured their fourth win of the campaign, beating EJ Sligo All-Stars 80-70. Buoyed by the scoring exploits of Donovan Fields (26) and Giorgi Tvalabeishvili (24), it will be a promising sign for the Dublin outfit moving towards the latter stages of the season.

Back in Super League action, Trinity Meteors (11-1) turned the tables on their Paudie O’Connor Cup final conquerors, Killester (6-6). Mark Grennell’s side were fast out of the traps, opening up an early ten-point lead, but Celena Taborn (19) and Claire Melia (17) found their groove to give the hosts the victory.

“I was incredibly proud of how our girls rebounded tonight, not just from last weekend, but from a difficult week of evaluating and analysing everything.

“All credit to Killester on that fantastic performance last weekend but I can’t say enough about our girls tonight, especially defensively. They showed real toughness and togetherness that will stand to us massively for the rest of the season,” said Trinity Meteors head coach Niall Berry after the game.

DCU Mercy (8-4) had five players in double-digits as they soared to an 89-49 win over Waterford Wildcats. It was a fast start for Mark Ingle’s side, opening up a 29-point leadbefore the interval. New recruit Amelia Motz scored 14 on her debut, while Hannah Thornton led the way on 17.

Speaking post-game, head coach Mark Ingle said: “Great performance by the team especially in the first half, it's not often you go to Waterford and win by that margin.”

i3PT Fr. Mathews (5-7) head coach Niamh Dwyer was pleased with a ‘great performance’ in the 105-72 win over Ulster University ahead of a tough run-in to end the season. A 25-10 opening quarter set the tone for the Cork outfit, as Shannon Brady (25) and Gráinne Dwyer (22) topped the scoring.

“Delighted with the team performance on the floor tonight. Everyone who stepped on the court did a great job. We know how tough the run-in to the end of season is going to be, so this performance was key for us tonight as we move on to DCU next week,” said Niamh Dwyer.

The Address UCC Glanmire (11-1) head coach Mark Scannell praised his side as they had to ‘dig deep’ to garner an 82-74 victory away to Leixlip Amenities Liffey Celtics. The game was a tight one with nine lead changes, but a 26-16 third quarter and 32 points from Brittany Byrd saw the champions take home the spoils ahead of a big clash next week.

“Delighted with the win. We had to dig deep. Liffey are always tough at home, a great club with some outstanding players. I was pleased with how we managed the second half and we got a great spread of scoring, especially from the bench again. We now look forward to preparing for Trinity [Meteors] in Cork next week,” added Mark Scannell.

Ireland captain Edel Thornton was in top form to score 27 as Singleton SuperValu Brunell (5-7) ended a luckless run of form to beat University of Galway Mystics 82-73.

“We are thrilled with the win. We feel like this is well overdue for us. We have trained so hard over the month of January and our efforts were finally rewarded with a win. Obviously we're competing without a pro at the moment but we had 16 Irish players training on Wednesday night and everyone is pushing each other and trying to improve our position in the table,” said head coach Liam Culloty.

After losing one of their stars in Amelia Motz to DCU Mercy, Abbey Seals Dublin Lions recorded a narrow 66-63 victory over Phoenix Rockets. In the top of the table clash, it was McEvoy’s Cavan Eagles who took home the spoils against Portlaoise Panthers, thanks to a 57-47 encounter. St. Paul’s Killarney emphatically beat Swords Thunder 102-41. Oblate Dynamos beat Marble City Hawks 72-42. Moy Tolka Rovers saw off SETU Carlow 68-49 and Griffith College Templeogue beat Limerick Sport Huskies 79-58.

In Division 1, Ulster University maintained their purple patch with an 80-75 vicory at home to Drogheda Wolves. Team North West narrowly overcame Portlaoise Panthers 82-79. Dwyers of Cork Fr. Mathews saw off SETU Waterford Vikings 91-82 for a crucial road win. In the Killarney derby, Scotts Lakers St. Paul’s Killarney beat Killarney Cougars 85-66. In a high-scoring affair, Abbey Seals Dublin Lions beat SETU Carlow 111-103 after overtime with Righ Dau scoring 40.

Results Super League

Saturday, January 28th

Emporium Cork Basketball 87-88 Garvey’s Tralee Warriors

Energywise Ireland Neptune 113-77 Flexachem KCYMS

Belfast Star 90-83 Killester

Bright St. Vincent’s 80-70 EJ Sligo All-Stars

Moycullen 65-77 University of Galway Maree

Griffith College Templeogue 80-72 UCD Marian

Sunday, January 29th

UCC Demons 100-90 DBS Éanna Division 1

Saturday, January 28th

Ulster University 79-86 Drogheda Wolves

Team North West 82-79 Portlaoise Panthers

SETU Waterford Vikings 82-91 Dwyers of Cork Fr. Mathews

Scotts Lakers SPK 85-66 Killarney Cougars

Abbey Seals Dublin Lions 111-103 SETU Carlow Super League

Saturday, January 28th

i3PT Fr.Mathews 105-72 Ulster University
Trinity Meteors 66-55 Killester

Waterford Wildcats 49-89 DCU Mercy

Leixlip Amenities Liffey Celtics 74-82 The Address UCC Glanmire

Sunday, January 29th

Singleton SuperValu Brunell 82-73 University of Galway Mystics Division 1

Saturday, January 28th

McEvoy’s Cavan Eagles 57-47 Portlaoise Panthers

St. Pauls Killarney 102-41 Swords Thunder

Griffith College Templeogue 79-58 Limerick Sport Huskies

Moy Tolka Rovers 68-49 SETU Carlow

Oblate Dynamos 72-42 Marble City Hawks

Sunday, January 29th

Phoenix Rockets 63-66 Abbey Seals Dublin Lions