In the Nivea for Men’s SuperLeague, 11890 Killester collected the points following a win over Bord Gais Neptune in a thrilling encounter, while Belfast Star earned maximum points at home to Moycullen.
UCC Demons maintained their fine league form with wins over UL Eagles and UCD Marian, while the Eagles had a mixed bag as they bounced back from that defeat with a win over DCU Saints on Saturday night.
In the Nivea Women’s SuperLeague, Aoife McDermott was in top form as UL maintained their impressive league form with a win over DCU Mercy, while Waterford Wildcats and 11890 Killester secured the points with victories over Ulster Rockets and Liffey Celtics respectively.
Elsewhere Team Montenotte Hotel Cork secured a vital 84-55 win over Meteors as they set their sights on second place in the league, while Singleton SuperValu Brunell managed to steal the points in a close encounter with Oblate Dynamos on Sunday, 44-40.
UCC Demons returned to the top of the Southern Conference after a superb 84-64 win at home to UCD Marian on Sunday, a game in which Shane Coughlan led the scoring with 21 points, while Niall Murphy tallied 19.
On Friday, National Cup finalists UL Eagles and UCC Demons met in the Mardyke Arena. Demons managed a five-point win over their conference rivals as they edged towards a home draw in the playoffs.
“We have had a good weekend” said Demons head coach Paul Kelleher. “We have four games to go, and still have to play Neptune. There is a lot of work to be done, but we will take the positives out of this weekend."
UL Eagles bounced back from that defeat with a 85-62 win over DCU Saints on Saturday. Robert Taylor, Eoin Quigley and Jason Killeen all scored double figures.
“It was a good performance”, said UL head coach Mark Keenan.
“It was important that we got the win tonight following Friday night’s game in Cork. It is a good confidence booster and we look to carry that into our final two games."
11890 Killester emerged victorious from a titanic overtime tussle with Bord Gais Neptune on a scoreline of 97-96 in front of a large crowd at the IWA in Clontarf on Saturday evening.
Killester star Jermaine Turner stole the show as he contributed a superb personal tally of 45 points, while Peder Madsen added 21. Neptune’s Ron Thompson and Roy Downey managed 23 and 20 points respectively.
“We were due a win in a game like that”, said Killester head coach Darren O’Neill.
“We were up 20 against Star, Moycullen, DCU and Neptune earlier in the season but failed to hold on. We still have a huge amount to learn, we are a young side, but if we perform we are good enough to go the whole way."
Belfast Star had nine points to spare as they overcame a tenacious Moycullen in Belfast on Saturday night, 76-67.
Star amassed a 16-point advantage at the end of the first quarter but Moycullen, boosted by the return of their American Luke Enos, proved difficult to beat as they continued to close the gap in the second half.
However it was Salvador Camps who scored a crucial three in the final quarter to put the pressure on the home side. Paul Cummins responded in fine fashion as he hit two consecutive three-pointers to ensure the points for Belfast Star.
“It was a tough contest. Moycullen are always difficult to beat”, said Belfast Star head coach Danny Fulton. “We were 16 points up at one stage, Moycullen showed their resilience and came back at us, and we had to work hard throughout to secure the win”.
UL head coach James Weldon paid tribute to Aoife McDermott after she helped her side to an 81-68 win over fellow title chasers DCU Mercy in the Nivea Women’s SuperLeague.
“It was a great team performance,” said Weldon. “I have to give Aoife (McDermott) great credit. She has been consistent throughout the season, and maintained this form tonight with 23 points.
“We are delighted to continue our league form, especially as we approach the playoffs."
Team Montenotte Hotel Cork enjoyed a convincing 29-point win over Dublin outfit Meteors. In terms of the battle for second place this was an important win for the Cork side as closest rivals DCU Mercy lost out to league leaders UL.
“It was good to return to winning ways, we had a good performance,” said Montenotte head coach Cormac O’Donoghue.
“It was important to get this win, it almost guarantees us second place in the league and a home semi-final in the playoffs."
Waterford Wildcats held out to secure a four-point win over Belfast side, Ulster Rockets on Saturday night, 63-59.
“Our experienced players stepped up when the pressure was on”, said Wildcats head coach Tommy O’Mahony.
“It is our third consecutive win, which helps the confidence. It’s now about trying to keep the momentum going for the final two games as we try and secure fourth spot and a place in the playoffs."
11890 Killester maintained their league position with a win over Liffey Celtics, 80-39, to keep their hopes alive for a top-four place.
Speaking after the game, head coach Mark Grennell said: “This win was important as we look towards securing a home quarter final in the league playoffs”.
On Sunday, Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell emerged from a close encounter with Dublin side Oblate Dynamos, 44-40. Brunell trailed at the break but managed to improve on the offensive boards and steal the victory.
“It was fantastic to get the win”, said Brunell head coach Kieran O’Leary. “It was too close for comfort, but we responded well in the second half and managed to hold on for the win.”