C&S UCC Demons have created Irish basketball history by becoming the first side ever to remain undefeated for an entire season.
The Cork team claimed the end-of-season Champions Trophy yesterday to add to their League and Cup haul in a campaign that saw them win 24 games in a row. In a thrilling finale in Galway, Demons saw off Templeogue 85-73.
Templeogue looked to spoil the party and it was a cagey opening to the game as Conor Grace and Ciaran O’Sullivan traded three-pointers.
Much of the second quarter was dictated by turnovers as Demons stole the ball five times in a six-minute spell to open up an 11-point lead. There was guile too as Lehmon Colbert used Colin O’Reilly as a decoy to turn and take a clear route to basket.
Templeogue’s Lorcan Murphy had the crowd on their feet with a reverse dunk and there was one point between the sides when Conor Grace drained a three-pointer with four minutes left.
“Everyone questioned if we’d have the character in the tight games,” said Demons Coach Colin O’Reilly. “Everyone put it up to us this weekend. We proved a few doubters wrong.”
Demons responded with an 11-0 run from four different players to see out the game. It was the perfect end to a perfect season.
Team Montenotte Hotel staked their own place in the Irish basketball history books with a 77-64 win over Singleton SuperValu Brunell in the Women’s Premier League final.
The win puts the Glanmire side alongside both UL Huskies and Wildcats of Waterford at the top of the roll of honour for top-tier league titles.
Brunell, playing their first ever league decider, held their own in the first half and hauled a 20-point gap back down to eight points as Glanmire threatened to blow the game out.
Winning Head Coach Mark Scannell was thrilled for his side: “Finals are hard to win and we found a way to win one tonight. Grainne Dwyer and Marie Breen maybe don’t get the credit they deserve as they’re guarding big strong Americans and that’s very difficult to do for Irish players.
"Niamh [Dwyer] hung in there for us early on when no one was hitting shots.”
Mens Champions Trophy Final
C&S UCC Demons 85 Black Amber Templeogue 73
Men’s League Cup Final
UCD Marian 102 DCU Marian 95;
Women’s Premier League Final
Team Montenotte Hotel 77 Singleton SuperValu Brunell 64
Women’s Premier League Shield Final
UL Huskies 67, Pyrobel Killester 53;
Women’s Division One Final
Oblate Dynamos 63, Portlaoise Panthers 59