NUIG Maree defeated defending InsureMyHouse.ie Pat Duffy National Cup holders Griffith College Templeogue 85-83 in Galway, while InsureMyHouse Paudie O’Connor National Cup holders Killester were also eliminated, losing 102-61 at home to The Address UCC Glanmire.
Griffith College Templeogue started brightly and led by five (25-20) at the end of the opening quarter, extending their advantage to eight (40-32) by half-time. But the home side clawed themselves back into the contest and NUIG Maree led 62-61 at the end of the third quarter and would eventually edge it by two points. Lovre Tvrdic top scored with 25, followed by Deondre Jackson (23) and Eoin Rockall (9).
Lorcan Murphy was potent at the basket, with a 27 point haul, while Vladamir Tokishin contributed 19. Speaking afterwards Griffith College Templeogue head coach Mark Keenan said: “Tough loss to take after such a good start to the game. Fair play to Maree they are a very good team and made big shots when needed. We almost had a chance to steal the game in the final minute but couldn’t get the defensive stop when required.”
Charlie Crowley, NUIG Maree head coach, was delighted to pick up the victory. “It was a great win by our team, it was looking grim enough at the very start, but we stuck to it and we kept going. There were some big individual performances, Deondre Jackson, Lovre Tvrdic – they stepped up big when we needed them and they came in. It was more than just two, we had Evan O’Rourke, 18 year’s old, keeps taking the ball, taking it off some of the most experienced guys out there and really brought us going. John Burke, Paul Freeman, Luka (Kraljic), Eoin Rockall had some big shots. Oriol (Franch) came in, he didn’t play too much of the first half, came in to ice the game, that’s all that matters. It was really up and down, but it was a great team game. For NUIG Maree, for Maree more so we’ve never had a Cup win ever in the history of the Super League, so to come up against the reigning champions against the odds, back down from, I think we went 15 or 20 down, I’m not too sure – brilliant. Absolutely thrilled, but on to the next week. I think some of the guys will be disappointed that our international break won’t be as quiet as they planned.”
The 2020 Pat Duffy National Cup losing finalists DBS Éanna are into the quarter-finals after emerging 98-69 winners away at Belfast Star. Stefan Zecevic and Romonn Nelson were their top performers, with 24 and 23 points respectively. James Claar led scoring for Belfast Star, picking up 23 points, followed by Max Cooper on 17.
DBS Éanna head coach Darren McGovern was pleased to come out on top. “Away in the first round of the Cup is tough. Our guys deserve the credit. Each man stepped up tonight and delivered on both ends of the floor. We knew going up to Star would be tough and they battled with us throughout. I should be happier than I am, but I’m disappointed in Sport Ireland’s decision on vaccinated players only at underage level. We need them to reverse this decision for the betterment of our game. I have an 11-year-old daughter due to play on Sunday, but can’t because of this Sport Ireland decision and she’s even not eligible for a vaccine. We as a basketball community need to keep pushing Sport Ireland to reverse this decision for our young basketball hoopers.”
Killester emerged 25-point winners in the Dublin derby at Bright DCU Saints, 93-68. Farouq Raheem (21), Kason Harrell (21) and Tomas Fernandez Zerolo (17) led their offence. Brian O’Malley, Killester head coach said: “We’re delighted to be through to the next round. We had a pretty good start and defensively we did a good job for the first twenty minutes. We have lots to work on and DCU came roaring back in the second half, to be expected from a really tough group of guys. We’re just happy to advance.”
Garvey’s Tralee Warriors are also into the quarter-finals. They started brightly against Tradehouse Central Ballincollig, leading 23-10 at the end of the opening quarter and 43-30 by half-time. Tradehouse Central Balliincollig turned it around in the third, Adrian O’Sullivan’s basket with a little over a minute left in the quarter brought the scores level at 50 apiece. The away side nudged themselves in front 52-51 going into the final quarter.
A big three from Aaron Calixte with 6’50” to go edged Garvey’s Tralee Warriors in front 56-55, he added a two free throws, followed by a three from Eoin Quigley which opened up a six point lead, 61-55. Ballincollig tried to get themselves back into it, Andre Nation signalled his intent with a dunk which saw them trail 63-57, but they couldn’t get any closer, with the Warriors winning 74-66.
Garvey’s Tralee Warriors head coach John Dowling said: “What an advertisement for Irish basketball, it had everything. The players gave it everything both sides and were just happy to come out the right side of the result. We have (NUIG) Maree next week, who just beat (Griffith College) Templeogue, so that’s what we will focus on now. I do want to highlight one situation that has occurred during the week when Sport Ireland made the decision to exclude unvaccinated children from playing basketball games, some of whom have no choice whether they can get vaccinated or not. Not alone is it immoral, but it’s also unlawful. I am vaccinated and I urge the whole basketball community to get behind our cause. At some point you have to stand up and be counted and that’s what we need to do now. Help Basketball Ireland in their cause, I know I will be doing everything in my power to.
In the InsureMyHouse.ie Paudie O’Connor National Cup, Claire Melia returned to the starting line-up for The Address UCC Glanmire in their 102-61 win at Killester. Melia was at the fulcrum for the Cork side, with an outstanding performance in link-up play and at the basket. She finished joint-top scorer with 24, alongside American Carrie Shephard, who impressed from the three-point line.
“I am very happy for the girls, we’ve had a couple of tough weeks, a couple of injuries, a couple of illnesses and we just had to knuckle down as a team and I think over the last week and a half – even though we didn’t get the results – that performance was coming, but defensively we were really good tonight and we’re just thrilled to get into the next round of the Cup”, The Address UCC Glanmire head coach Mark Scannell said.
“We passed the ball well and we shared it well. Our new American Carrie (Shephard) who came in two weeks ago and she was straight into matches, but she has really settled down and she had a fabulous game tonight and obviously having Claire Melia back was a huge plus for us. She controlled the game like she always does, she controlled the boards and she made some fantastic passes. And the other girls there had to sacrifice tonight, Claire O’Sullivan, Casey Grace they were having to play defence on the two Americans and they did a wonderful job. So look we’re delighted, as I said it’s been a tough start to the league for us, so hopefully we’ll settle down after this and get going.”
Áine McKenna, who had 19 points on the night for The Address UCC Glanmire, added: “It was a tough game, I suppose we came out and played like a team. It was a real team effort. We made a thing today to go after every single rebound, because they beat us last week and I think they out-rebounded us, so we made it a thing to go after all the rebounds today and play tough defence and it got us out of here.”
Karl Kilbride was disappointed that his players struggled to get out of the blocks. “A tough day at the office. Look, Glanmire were excellent, we never showed up really. The first six possessions of the game I think we had four turnovers and they four offensive rebounds and they just beat us in the fight all night long. They shot the ball really well, it’s easy to shoot the ball well when you’re up by 20 and we let them get up early. They moved excellently off the ball, Claire (Melia) coming back makes such a difference, she caused us a whole lot of problems – her passing is excellent. We’re just more disappointed, we didn’t show up for the fight, they killed us on the boards, we did an okay job stopping them on transition, but in the half court they were excellent and they thoroughly deserved to win, no excuses.”
DCU Mercy are also into the quarter-finals of the InsureMyHouse.ie Paudie O’Connor National Cup following a 66-42 win at Team Garvey’s St. Mary’s. Alarie Mayze had 17 points, while Hannah Thornton contributed 11 points and Maeve Phelan nine points in their victory.
DCU Mercy head coach Mark Ingle said: “Very good win and a very strong third quarter from our team to stretch the half-time lead. There were very good performances from Maeve Phelan and Megan Connolly for DCU Mercy.”
In the MissQuote.ie Super League Leixlip Amenities Liffey Celtics were forty point victors at IT Carlow Basketball, emerging 98-58 winners on Saturday. Adrienne Jackson (20), Ciara Bracken (18), Alexis Dillard (12) headed scoring.
Leixlip Amenities Liffey Celtics head coach Yiannis Liapakis stated: “We’re very pleased with the result and the performance of the last three quarters. Unfortunately we didn’t start the game focussed and aggressive enough and we gave the opportunity to Carlow to score some easy baskets and stay close to the score. The next three quarters we did a great job defensively and we won the game. I’m very proud of my players and we must continue playing like that.
IT Carlow Basketball also had to play at WIT Waterford Wildcats on Sunday, and they were again beaten, 78-55. Kate Hickey (21), Jasmine Walker (17) and Stephanie O’Shea (14) topped the scoring charts for the home side, while IT Carlow’s new American signing Lauren LePlant had 20 points, followed closely by Lucy Coogan, with 17.
IT Carlow Basketball head coach Martin Conroy said: “Today I think we’ve finally shown that we can play at this level. The girls came out after a massively tough game yesterday against (Leixlip Amenities) Liffey Celtics and performed unbelievably against one of the better teams in the league. Our defence was phenomenal for long periods in the game, offensively we kept them under pressure by stopping their runs and making some scores ourselves. Very proud of the way the girls played, it’s very tough to play back-to-back games at this level, especially coming off two weeks of no practices because of Covid. So I think that needs to be looked at for future instances of Covid within clubs and teams. I think it is unfair for teams to be expected to play back-to-back games when they’ve had players and coaching staff go through a two-week isolation period. Again, I am very proud of our women and the way they played. They are starting to get to know each other now and hopefully over the next few weeks we’ll get better and better, but also to have underage basketball back on the map, because it is kind of hard to believe at this stage that Sport Ireland are stopping our kids playing basketball. These kids need to be in the gym for us to have any chance of making a stronger move in Europe over the next 10 to 15 years. So let’s get our kids back in the gym and maybe Sport Ireland maybe need to look at what we give as a sport.”
WIT Waterford Wildcats are now among five teams with three wins and a loss from their opening four games, but head coach Tommy O’Mahony feels his team have plenty to work on. “Delighted to get the win, but the performance was not good enough. Carlow are always going to be tough and they out-fought us too many times today, in the 4th quarter we gained a bit of momentum and were able to see the game out, but defensively we need to be better if we are going to challenge teams in the future.”
Elsewhere, in the InsureMyHouse.ie President’s National Cup there were round 1 wins for McGowans Tolka Rovers, Limerick Sport Eagles, Limerick Celtics and Drogheda Wolves on Saturday, while on Sunday UCC Demons and EJ Sligo All-Stars also advanced to the quarter-finals. Sunday also saw Portlaoise Panthers beat Scotts Lakers Killarney 100-72 in the Preliminary round InsureMyHouse.ie President’s National Cup at Castleisland Community Centre
In the InsureMyHouse.ie Women’s Division 1 National Cup there were round 1 wins for Limerick Sport Huskies, Griffith College Templeogue and Swords Thunder.