It was a historic night at the National Basketball Arena as C&S UCC Demons captain Shane Coughlan led his team to victory against Dublin Inter by 82-64 to win his fifth and the UCC Demons sixth National Cup.
Coughlan won his first National Cup back in the 2002/03 season in a match that also saw him being named the games MVP, an honour he would go on to also claim the following year as the Demons went on to successfully retain their title.
Unfortunately for Coughlan he wasn’t able to emulate the same level of form that earned him those two MVP awards.
Instead that honour went to UCC Demons forward Lehmann Colbert. The American put in a powerhouse performance that saw him score an impressive 21 points.
The first quarter was a tightly contested affair with neither team managing to create a lead that was greater than four points.
It was Dublin Inter who drew first blood when a breakaway from Mindaugas Tamusauskas and a three-point basket from Aurimas Statkus put them into an early lead.
UCC Demons quickly drew back level through Colbert who took command of his side when going forward, creating a number of skilful plays that the opposition failed to defend against.
Symmetry in the passing between brothers Colin and Niall O’ Reilly allowed UCC Demons to take the lead as the first quarter drew to a close and further increase it for the Cork side at the beginning of the second.
Excellent one-two passing between the brothers easily saw player-coach C O’ Reilly net himself eight points in the first two quarters to give his team a nine-point lead over the opposition at the end of the first half.
Constant blocking by Colin O’ Reilly meant that Dublin Inter had little choice but to shoot from three-point range for the majority of the third quarter.
However, this wasn’t as big a problem as it could have been for the team from Dublin as Remigijus Dimiciukas was in fine form, sinking three from long range after the halftime break.
O’ Sullivan’s display in the game’s third period was nothing short of impressive as he ran every inch of the court, scoring six points in the process and only allowing Dublin Inter to increase their score by eight points.
With an 18-point advantage heading into the final quarter, the UCC Demons were content to play out the remainder of the match at their own pace, only stepping up the tempo when they felt it was needed in order to shut out their opponents.
Dublin Inter never really troubled the Cork side for the most part with the majority of their opportunities once again coming from long distance.
UCC Demons ended the stronger of the two teams as the final few minutes saw Kyle Hosford net himself three points in addition to the nine he had already bagged in the game’s first three quarters to ensure that this year the National Cup would be once again heading home to the Rebel County.