/ Basketball

Neptune overcome local rivals UCC Demons

Updated: Sunday, 16 Oct 2011 22:06

Mark Scannell's Neptune overcame local rivals UCC Demons in a thrilling game
Mark Scannell's Neptune overcame local rivals UCC Demons in a thrilling game

This weekend's action in the Nivea for Men Superleague saw Neptune marginally overcome local rivals UCC Demons, while Mark Keenan was unable to thwart former side 11890 Killester, his UL side going down 67-59 in what was a surprisingly low-scoring game.

UCD Marian secured a first win of the campaign against Belfast Star, while Moycullen were left disappointed after narrowly missing out against DCU Saints.

In The Nivea Womens Superleague there were wins for DCU Mercy and Liffey Celtics Ulster Rockets, while UL managed to fight off the challenge of Killester to secure an important away victory.

Local rivals Neptune and UCC Demons played out a pulsating derby encounter at Neptune stadium on Friday night.

A full house was treated to a wonderful spectacle as both teams vied for bragging rights in what was a truly memorable contest, the final score 104-102 in favour of the home side.

Despite the euphoria of the win, Neptune coach Mark Scannell was keen to temper expectations: “It was great for us and the fans. But the reality is you don’t win any championships giving up over a hundred points.”

Scannell has enjoyed an impressive start to his tenure as Neptune coach, but nonetheless was keen to downplay the significance of this victory.

“While it was a good win for the club and the fans, for me it was never the be all and end all. There was very little in it and if we had lost we would be going away wondering what we did wrong.”

The new coach is encouraged by what he has seen so far and is confident that there are good times ahead.

“We learned a lot from this game. The guys never let their heads drop and showed great spirit. When we are shooting well we are as good as anybody in the league. The key will be trying to get that from the lads on a consistent basis.”

Scannell praised the contribution of new recruit Ron Thomson, who clocked up an impressive twenty six points on the night. “Ron is a great person to have in your squad. The guy is so experienced.

"He has played basketball all around the world and as a result is so clued in to what he needs to do. He was great tonight and the thing is that he makes the people around him play better."

Elsewhere, reigning champions Killester secured a hard fought 67-59 victory over UL Eagles.

Killester were facing off against former coach Mark Keenan and found it difficult in the early exchanges, when the home side were guilty of some glaring misses.

Coach Darren O Neill was frustrated by his side's poor execution, but was keen to stress his admiration for the endeavour of his players.

“We weren’t very good offensively, but you have to credit the guys for the way the stuck at it and remained focused on what they needed to do.

"We have three wins from our first three games, and that is without having played too well. I think there is a lot more to come from this group of players. But in fairness the lads have responded superbly to what I’ve asked them to do.”

Cup champions UCD Marian travelled north to Belfast Star and secured a 72-64 result to give them their first win of the new campaign.

Coach Fran Ryan was pleased to get off the mark and was mindful that this was the type of fixture his side found difficult last year.

“We struggled a lot away from home last year, so to go up to Belfast and come away with a win is encouraging. The lads were very strong defensively and got the job done. We’re delighted to get the first win under our belts. Ryan stated."

DCU Saints narrowly saw off the challenge of Moycullen, running out 64-62 winners in what was the tightest of contests.

Coach David Donnelly was happy to get the win and had kind words to say about Moycullen.

“We are very glad to have got the win here. People will get a surprise when they play Moycullen. They have improved an awful ot. I think they are going to get a few wins this season.

"They are a much stronger side now. We didn’t do ourselves any favours on the night. We dug a bit of a hole for ourselves. The important thing though is that we came through it and got the result."

In the Nivea Womens Superleague, DCU mercy saw off the challenge of Meteors 58-40.

In a game that DCU coach Mark Ingle labelled as “scrappy”, the cup champions eventually overcame the Meteors challenge thanks in large part to a strong showing in the third quarter.

Ingle said: “It was just one of those games. We had no one really firing on all sylinders. That can happens some days. You just have to be glad of the win and put it behind you.

"The third quarter saved us really, but overall I don’t think we played very well. Maybe there was a little bit of complacency there, I don’t know. We just have to move on and put this one behind us.”

In the other women’s Superleague encounters UL comfortably overcame the challenge of Killester by 73 -48.

Coach James Weldon said: "We played pretty well. It is a tough place to go and get win. Killester made us fight for the win. Rachel Vanderwal had a big game for us and we had a lot of people who stepped up and we had a lot of leadership on the court.

"It is a work in progress and all you can do is take it game by game and try do as well as you can.”

Elsewhere Ulster Rockets saw off the challenge of Waterford Wildcats on a scoreline of 54-42, while Liffey Celtics just managed to get over the line against Oblate Dynamos.

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