“We’re at the business end of the season with half a chance and we’re just delighted to be here,” said Garvey’s Tralee Warriors', Kieran Donaghy, as his side kept their dreams of a Super League title alive and kicking on Saturday evening when they won out 88-70 over Maree in Kerry.
We’re playing together as a team and we’re taking it one game at a time now. It’s hard as we have a lot of tough games in the run in to the finish, but we’re just delighted to be here.
Indeed, it wasn’t easy work for the Warriors as despite a 26-point game from Paul Dick, coupled with big performances around the court from Eoin Quigley and Kendal Williams, the teams were neck-in-neck at half time, tied at 44 points apiece, thanks to a big display from Sean Sellers at the other end. Niels Bunschoten and Eoin Rockall also caused trouble for the Warriors defense, but a big third quarter from the hosts saw them find some space on the scoreboard to lead 66-57 going into the last, and they drove on from there.
— Garveys Warriors (@warriors_bc) March 3, 2019
League leaders Templeogue also ran out 87-77 against a Pyrobel Killester side who rallied strongly in the fourth quarter. Despite leading for the entire game, Templeogue needed to dig deep to fight off the Killester comeback in the closing minutes as – having trailed 71-55 going into the last - they closed the margin back to four points.
Neil Randolph and Lorcan Murphy had other ideas though, and responded well with some big scores at the other end to ensure victory for the table toppers and tee up a mouth-watering top of the table showdown with Tralee next Saturday night in Kerry. Templeogue’s Puff Summers had this to say after the victory:
It’s a huge win. The guys were really focused this week because they knew the Cup Champions were coming to town. When we were Cup champions last year, we went to Clontarf, when we were chasing the league, and they embarrassed us. So, we knew we had to put our best foot forward.
Elsewhere, Keane’s SuperValu Killorglin secured a crucial 81-96 point win over old rivals C and S Neptune in Cork on Saturday night in a must-win bottom of the table clash. The two sides, who were promoted to the Men’s Super League together this season, were tied alongside Galway’s Moycullen heading into the clash, but a massive display from the Kerry side saw them over the line and three points clear of the danger zone.
Belfast Star secured a big road win on Saturday evening as they ran out 82-91 point winners over bottom side, Moycullen in Galway, while UCD Marian had the better of UCC Demons on Sunday afternoon to keep their title dreams alive, running out 64-95 point winners in Cork.
Over in the Women’s Super League meanwhile, Fr Mathews handed Courtyard Liffey Celtics their second loss of the season in a superb 94-80 victory on home soil on Saturday evening. Mathews were superb in the opening stages, running out to a 22-6 lead mid-way through the first quarter. Liffey showed their calibre to claw the deficit back, but even when the visitors put a run together, it was the side in red and white that always seemed in control of proceedings.
“To be honest I think this is the best we have played all season,” an elated James Fleming said after the final buzzer sounded. “We’re competing for second spot and this was a huge step in doing that for us.”
Pyrobel Killester meanwhile got their fifth win on the bounce on Saturday evening when they ran out 86-71 point winners over DCU Mercy at home. Again, it was the hosts’ three-point shooting that was the talk of the evening, as they finished the game out with 11 three-pointers, five from Aisling McCann, four from Rebecca Nagle and one apiece from Miah Spencer and Maeve Phelan. Head coach Karl Kilbride was elated after the game:
I’m delighted, our play off push is still alive. There’s been a great rivalry with DCU over the years, and it’s great to get a win and keep our season alive. It’s still not in our hands, we still need teams to do us a favour, all we can do is get out and get a win and keep our fingers crossed for results elsewhere.
It was back-to-back wins for Marble City Hawks meanwhile as they overcame bottom side NUIG Mystics in Galway, 41-59. A standout performance from Kilkenny’s Aine Sheehy saw her finish the game with 23 points, and she was supported by big displays from Kelly O’Hallahan and Elaine Kennington. IT Carlow Basketball meanwhile upset Singleton SuperValu Brunell at home on Saturday afternoon, winning out by just two points in a close and intense affair.
Kate Flaherty, Courtney Walsh and Aoife Whelan led the charge early on for the hosts to give them a five-point cushion at half time, 35-30. A big drive from Brunell in the second half, led by Linda Rubene, Simone O’Shea and Danielle O’Leary put the game right back in the melting pot, but Carlow hung on to win out 60-58 in the end.
Maxol WIT Wildcats had 15 points to spare over Ambassador UCC Glanmire in their Super League clash on Saturday evening, winning out 71-56 at home. Jasmine Walker, Allysa Velles and Stephanie O’Shea top scored for the hosts to see home a vital victory as the battle for play off positions heats up.