Basketball Ireland – Playoff games in full swing

By
Updated: March 17, 2014
basketball finals

With  playoff games in full swing there was plenty of action around the country in both the Men’s and Women’s National Leagues this weekend.

 

The final four teams to compete in the Men’s Champions Trophy were finalised after both DCU Saints and JM&L Auctioneers Titans progressed to the semi-finals when they overcame Men’s Division One League Winners, Maree and Men’s Premier League side, Bord Gais Neptune, respectively.

 

DCU Saints will face off with Men’s Premier League Winners, Killester in the semi-finals next weekend while JM&L Auctioneers Titans will take on the Men’s National Cup Champions, C&S UCC Demons.

 

This weekend, DCU Saints were forced to work hard for their win when they made the trip to Galway but eventually came out on top 63 – 83 with Eoin Quill putting in a stellar performance by netting a cool 27 points for his side on the night.

 

Head coach of DCU Saints, David Donnelly, said, “It was an intense game and our 20 point win does not reflect the closeness of the game at all, it was very competitive from start to finish.”

 

“We did start the game strong and went 10-0 so that ten point lead acted as a buffer for us throughout the game. Although we went up 20 points early in the fourth quarter they pulled it back to nine points at one stage but we managed to stretch it out once more.”

 

However, the surprise result of the weekend was the Men’s National Shield Champions, JM&L Auctioneers Titans, defeating the Premier League side, Bord Gais Neptune. Many believed the Cork side would sail into the next round but the character and skill of Titans was too much for them to overcome.

 

Paul Freeman, head coach of JM&L Auctioneers Titans, said, “We knew that if we wanted to beat Neptune that we needed to start strong and maintain it for the entire 40 minutes.”

 

“We came into the game with tough defence which forced them to turn the ball over and gave us some nice looks at the basket and we took the lead early in the game by almost 15 points.”

 

“Neptune did manage a brief comeback but we fought through it with Chris Coyne and Tomas Mitkus keeping us in the game.”

 

There was also plenty of action in the Men’s League Cup after four very exciting quarter final games took place. UCD Marian secured their semi-final playoff fixture when they took out Swords Thunder, 75 – 85 while UL Eagles had a more comfortable win over Team Garvey’s St. Mary’s 55 – 85.

 

Dublin Inter progressed to the next round after their win over C&S Blue Demons 62 – 73 however, the League Cup fixture between Team Left Bank Kilkenny and Belfast Star was abandoned in the last quarter after the back board broke. The match report will go to the NLMC and a decision will be made early next week as to what action will be taken next.

 

This now pits Dublin Inter against UCD Marian while UL Eagles must wait to find out who they will be taking on.

 

In the Women’s Premier League two nail biting semi-finals occurred when UL Huskies edged passed Killester, 63 – 50 and Team Montenotte Hotel Cork came away with a well-deserved win over DCU Mercy, 54- 65.

 

Head coach of UL Huskies, James Weldon, said, “That was a really fantastic game to be part off, with seven minutes to go it could have went either way.”

 

“I think our defence played a big part in the second half and enabled us to limit them to just 14 points over the two quarters. A lot of that comes down to our strength and conditioning and our ability to keep that intensity going until the final whistle.

 

Meanwhile another chapter was added to the rivalry between DCU Mercy and Team Montenotte Hotel Cork when the ladies from the rebel county fought tooth and nail to come away with a win, 54 – 65 and book a place in the final against UL Huskies.

 

Paul Kelleher, head coach of Team Montenotte Hotel Cork, said, “The game started sloppy for both teams but we managed to fight through that and gain some composure and control at the end of the first quarter.”

 

“Looking back on the game we definitely gave them too many open looks and if they had of been a little bit hotter it would have done serious damage. DCU Mercy applied a lot of pressure on us and we probably didn’t handle it very well. They made a break for us but we stayed strong throughout it.”

 

“Our role players all stepped up in this game but so did our bench, they were super. It’s been a good year so we are looking forward to the final game next weekend.”

 

Elsewhere, Tralee Imperials booked their place in the Women’s Division One Final when they overcame local rivals, Team Tom McCarthy’s St. Mary’s, 44 – 59. They will now take on Portlaoise Panthers in the final next weekend.

 

Individual Match Reports

 

Saturday March 15th

Champions Trophy Quarter Final

Maree 63 (31) v DCU Saints 83 (42), Calasanctius College, 8pm

The first quarter final of the Champions Trophy saw the Men’s Division One League Winners, Maree, take on Premier League side DCU Saints.

However, it was the Dublin side that came out on top 63 – 83, as their experience books them a place in the Champions Trophy semi-final next weekend with Men’s Premier League Winners, Killester.

The Saints were forced to work hard for their win with Eoin Quill putting in a stellar performance by netting a cool 27 points for his side on the night.

Head coach of DCU Saints, David Donnelly, said, “It was an intense game and our 20 point win does not reflect the closeness of the game at all, it was very competitive from start to finish.”

“We did start the game strong and went 10-0 so that ten point lead acted as a buffer for us throughout the game. Although we went up 20 points early in the fourth quarter they pulled it back to nine points at one stage but we managed to stretch it out once more.”

“We played solid defence throughout the game but their guard, Hansberry, made tough work for us around the three point line. In saying that Eoin Quill hit seven three’s for us so that definitely gave us the offensive boost that we needed. We also had a definite size advantage over Maree with Peter Lynch securing some great boards for us.”

“We are looking forward to next week and to taking on Killester, we know that when we are full strength and playing to our ability that we can compete with them. Although we have lost to them twice this season on the first occasion it was by a mere three points. We are hoping for another close game with them in the semi-final.”

Maree 63 (31) (K Hansberry 25, L Conroy14, M Hornbuckle 6) DCU Saints 83 (42) (E Quill 27, M Provizors 20, P Lynch 17) 

 

League Cup Quarter Final

 

Swords Thunder 75 (37) V UCD Marian 85 (39), ALSAA Sports Complex, 7pm ;

UCD Marian faced a tough quarter final game when they took on Swords Thunder. Both sides had meet before the season started in a pre-season tournament and it was the Division One Men’s side that came away with the win on that occasion.

However, the southsiders managed to reverse that result and they progressed to the next round after a hard fought battle and a 10 point win. They will now take on Dublin Inter in the semi-final round next weekend.

Head coach of UCD Marian, Ioannis Ciapakis said, “Going into this game we only had seven players due to injuries so this was a huge win for us.”

“From the start it was basket for basket with each team only taking a marginal lead before the other side came back. Terence King had a phenomenal game hitting 37 points while Conor Meany controlled the game for us on the point while also putting away 18 points.”

“It wasn’t until the final two minutes that we pulled away with Kevin Foley stepping up on defence and securing some big steals to enable us to take the lead.”

“If I am being entirely honest I knew very little about this team or the division one league before this game but credit to Swords Thunder they are a brilliant side. They could easily play in the Premier League and compete with the other teams. They work really hard and their coach knows his players very well.”

Swords Thunder 75 (37) (C Gallagher 24, D McKeon 16, K Lacey 13) UCD Marian 85 (39) (T King 37, C Meany 18, K Foley 10) 

 

Team Garvey’s St Mary’s 55 (30) V UL Eagles 85 (44), Castleisland Community Centre, 6.15pm ;

UL Eagles appeared to have a more comfortable win over Team Garvey’s St. Mary’s when they made the trip to Castleisland. The skilled and experienced Limerick side came away with a 30 point win, 55 – 85.

It has yet to be decided who the Eagles will face next weekend in the semi-final round after the other quarter final game was abandoned.

Mark Keenan, head coach of UL Eagles said, “It was a great result for us tonight on the road. We knew going into the game that we need to treat it like a Premier League fixture and that we could not afford to be complacent.”

“Right from the tip we got on top and set the tone and pace of the game. Although it was a comfortable win they did make a break at us in the fourth but we maintained our lead throughout and came out on top.”

Team Garvey’s St. Mary’s 55 (30) (J Galvin 16, A Fitzgerald 10, D Wall 8) UL Eagles 85 (44) (D Graham 18, M Hall 15, N Campbell 14)

 

Team Left Bank Kilkenny V Belfast Star, O’Loughlin Gaels Gym, 3pm

The League Cup fixture between Team Left Bank Kilkenny and Belfast Star was abandoned in the last quarter after the back board broke. The match report will go to the NLMC and a decision will be made early next week as to what action will be taken next.

 

Women’s Premier League Playoff Semi-Final                                                                                    

UL Huskies 63 (37) v Killester 50 (36), UL Sport Arena, 7.30pm

Another close encounter occurred in Limerick when Dublin side Killester made the journey to take on the Regular Season Winners, UL Huskies.

Both sides have enjoyed successful and exciting season’s this year as they both earned a win over the other throughout the campaign. However, similar to the National Cup semi-finals, the Limerick side showed their determination to win some more silverware this season and came away with the win, 63 – 50.

Head coach of UL Huskies, James Weldon, said, “That was a really fantastic game to be part off, with seven minutes to go it could have went either way.”

“I think our defence played a big part in the second half and enabled us to limit them to just 14 points over the two quarters. A lot of that comes down to our strength and conditioning and our ability to keep that intensity going until the final whistle. Killester probably rotated more in the first half but we still pushed it out and finished strong with the win.”

“Credit to Killester on their brilliant season this year they really have come on so much. Their head coach, Mark Grennell has done an outstanding job at bringing them from third last into the top four this season.”

“Going forward into the Final next weekend we are looking forward to the challenge ahead. Making it this far is extremely important to us for two reasons, the first being that we wanted to bounce back from our National Cup loss and the second that in the Basketball Ireland Roll of Honour we are tied with WIT Wildcats with six League Titles. If we are to go on and win again this year we will be the most successful women’s club which would be an unbelievable achievement.”

UL Huskies 63 (37) (R Clancy 21, R Vanderwal 13, L Galvin 10) Killester 50 (36) (C Bond 14, A McGuire 11, M Clarke 8) 

 

Women’s Premier League Shield Semi-Final

Liffey Celtics 65 (27) V Meteors 66 (29), Leixlip Amenities Centre, 4.30pm

Bottom of the table sides, Liffey Celtics and Meteors played off for a place in the Women’s Premier League Shield this weekend with the southsiders coming away with the win, 65 – 66.

Meteors will now play Ulster Rockets in the final next weekend.

Head Coach, Nabil Murad, said, “It has been a tough season for us but in this game we showed a lot of character and strength. We stuck together and won this game because we have learned to trust each other, both the players with one another and with the coaches involved.”

“It was a great game to be involved in and full credit goes to Vinny O’Keeffe on the fantastic job he is doing with Liffey Celtics this season, they are a brilliant team and he is bringing out the best in the team.”

“We are looking forward to taking on Ulster Rockets next weekend, we have lost to them twice this season and we all know that we should have at least come away with one win from those encounters. We want to finish the season on a positive note and if we play like we did today that will be enough for us, win or lose.”

Liffey Celtics 65 (27) (S Smith 14, A O’Connor 13, L Sanchez 11) Meteors 66 (29) (B Meany 19, J Daly 15, K O’Flaherty 11)

 

Women’s Division One Semi-Final

Tom McCarthy’s St Mary’s 44 (22) v Tralee Imperials 59 (31), Castleisland Community Centre, 8:15pm                                                                                            

The Women’s Division One semi-final playoff did not disappoint when local rivals Team Tom McCarthy’s St. Mary’s and Tralee Imperials squared off and went head to head.

St. Mary’s, who finished in second position on the league table had previously defeated Tralee Imperials twice this season during regular season games. However, the result was reversed this time when Tralee stole the win, 44 – 59, in front of a jam packed crowd. They will now play Portlaoise Panthers in the final next weekend.

Head coach of Tralee Imperials, Liam Culloty, said, “We played very well, probably one of our best performances all season. We shot the ball excellently and from this we were able to push ahead and take the lead early in the game.”

“We were in control for the majority of the game but St. Mary’s made a huge run at us in the third to close it to two points but we kept our focus and came out on top in the end.”

“We are delighted that we could pull out this performance when it most mattered. We had an even spread of scorers with everyone contributing which was great. Next weekend will be tough against Portlaoise Panthers but we are looking forward to taking them on.”

Team Tom McCarthys 44 (22) (L Scanlon 19, M Leane 10, D Dunlea 6) Tralee Imperials 59 (31) (S Mackessy 14, C Buckley 12, L Jones 9) 

 

Sunday March 16th

 

Champions Trophy Quarter-Final  

JM&L Auctioneers Titans 86 (49) v Bord Gais Neptune 82 (43), Knocknacarra Community Centre, 3pm

The surprise result of the weekend was the Men’s National Shield Champions, JM&L Auctioneers Titans, defeating the Premier League side, Bord Gais Neptune. Many believed the Cork side would sail into the next round but the character and skill of Titans was too much for them to overcome.

Paul Freeman, head coach of JM&L Auctioneers Titans, said, “We knew that if we wanted to beat Neptune that we needed to start strong and maintain it for the entire 40 minutes.”

“We came into the game with tough defence which forced them to turn the ball over and gave us some nice looks at the basket and we took the lead early in the game by almost 15 points.”

“Neptune did manage a brief comeback but we fought through it with Chris Coyne and Tomas Mitkus keeping us in the game.”

JM&L Auctioneers Titans 86 (49) (T Mitkus 24, C Coyne 21, P Peldzius 14) Bord Gais Neptune 82 (43) (D Townes 24, G Walsh 13, J Kamara 13) 

 

League Cup Quarter-Final                                                                 

C&S Blue Demons 62 (32) v Dublin Inter 73 (41), Parochial Hall, 2.15pm

Meanwhile in Cork, Dublin Inter overcame C&S Blue Demons when they travelled to Cork, 62 – 73.

This win will see them book a place in the semi-finals against UCD Marian.

C&S Blue Demons 62 (32) (D Murphy 22, C Cuff 22, S Rodgers 7) Dublin Inter 73 (41) (M Tamusauskas 21, L Glennon 18, M Cepliauskas 16) 

 

Women’s Premier League Playoff Semi-Final   

DCU Mercy 54 (26) v Team Montenotte Hotel Cork 65 (35), DCU Arena, 3.30pm

Another chapter was added to the rivalry between DCU Mercy and Team Montenotte Hotel Cork when the ladies from the rebel county fought tooth and nail to come away with a win, 54 – 65 and book a place in the final against UL Huskies.

Paul Kelleher, head coach of Team Montenotte Hotel Cork, said, “The game started sloppy for both teams but we managed to fight through that and gain some composure and control at the end of the first quarter.”

“Looking back on the game we definitely gave them too many open looks and if they had of been a little bit hotter it would have done serious damage. DCU Mercy applied a lot of pressure on us and we probably didn’t handle it very well. They made a break for us but we stayed strong throughout it.”

“Our role players all stepped up in this game but so did our bench, they were super. It’s been a good year so we are looking forward to the final game next weekend.”

DCU Mercy 54 (26) (R Brittenham 17, M Hoffman 12, S Maguire 11) Team Montenotte Hotel Cork 65 (35) (C Rockall 23, G Dwyer 14, E Harmon 13) 

 

 

Basketball Ireland Weekend Results

 

Men’s Premier League Champions Trophy

Maree 63 (31) (K Hansberry 25, L Conroy14, M Hornbuckle 6) DCU Saints 83 (42) (E Quill 27, M Provizors 20, P Lynch 17) 

 

Men’s League Cup Quarter Final

Team Garvey’s St. Mary’s 55 (30) (J Galvin 16, A Fitzgerald 10, D Wall 8) UL Eagles 85 (44) (D Graham 18, M Hall 15, N Campbell 14)

Swords Thunder 75 (37) (C Gallagher 24, D McKeon 16, K Lacey 13) UCD Marian 85 (39) (T King 37, C Meany 18, K Foley 10)

Team Left Bank Kilkenny v Belfast Star – Abandoned

 

Women’s Premier League Semi-Final

UL Huskies 63 (37) (R Clancy 21, R Vanderwal 13, L Galvin 10) Killester 50 (36) (C Bond 14, A McGuire 11, M Clarke 8)

 

Women’s Division One Semi-Final

Team Tom McCarthys 44 (22) (L Scanlon 19, M Leane 10, D Dunlea 6) Tralee Imperials 59 (31) (S Mackessy 14, C Buckley 12, L Jones 9)

 

Women’s Premier League Shield Semi-Final

Liffey Celtics 65 (27) (S Smith 14, A O’Connor 13, L Sanchez 11) Meteors 66 (29) (B Meany 19, J Daly 15, K O’Flaherty 11)

 

Sunday, March 16th

 

Men’s Premier League Champions Trophy

JM&L Auctioneers Titans 86 (49) (T Mitkus 24, C Coyne 21, P Peldzius 14) Bord Gais Neptune 82 (43) (D Townes 24, G Walsh 13, J Kamara 13)

 

Men’s League Cup Quarter Final

C&S Blue Demons 62 (32) (D Murphy 22, C Cuff 22, S Rodgers 7) Dublin Inter 73 (41) (M Tamusauskas 21, L Glennon 18, M Cepliauskas 16)

 

Women’s Premier League Semi-Final

DCU Mercy 54 (26) (R Brittenham 17, M Hoffman 12, S Maguire 11) Team Montenotte Hotel Cork 65 (35) (C Rockall 23, G Dwyer 14, E Harmon 13)

 

 

Basketball Ireland Upcoming Fixtures

 

Friday, March 21st

Champions Trophy Semi-Final 1, 7pm

Champions Trophy Semi-Final 2, 9pm

 

Saturday, March 22nd

League Cup Semi-Final 1, 2pm

League Cup Semi-Final 2, 4pm

Women’s Premier League Shield Final, 6pm

Women’s Division One Final, 8pm

 

Sunday, March 23rd

League Cup Final, 12 noon

Women’s Premier League Final, 2pm

Champions Trophy Final, 4pm

 

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