Pyrobel Killester found a deep reserve of motivation to snatch victory in the Hula Hoops Pat Duffy Men's National Cup final at the National Basketball arena thanks to a late three-pointer from Royce Williams which propelled them to 66-63 victory over UCD Marian .
Last year’s one-point defeat to the same opponents in the league final along with a 20-point loss in the current campaign just a week ago had been on their minds as they entered the second half 37-30 ahead.
Captain Alan Casey afterwards admitted they expected a UCD Marian fightback and were prepared for it.
The third quarter unfolded with a torrent of Marian scores and by the end of it Killester trailed by seven points.
But in a contest which saw each side lead by as much as nine points, there was a certain inevitability about the match being tied at 61 points apiece with just 32 second left on the clock.
That was when Marian appeared to have rubbed more salt on their Dublin northside rivals’ wounds as Barry Drumm linked perfectly with Conor Meaney from close range to send them into a 63-61 lead.
That merely sharpened the focus of Killester who calmly executed a well rehearsed play to leave American Williams in position to pick off an open three-pointer with just 19 second left on the clock.
"We called the play in the time-out. Royce was left wide open and he doesn’t miss many in that situation," Casey said after holding the trophy aloft.
Williams' accuracy belied the high-tariff nature of his shot from well outside the three-point line and it took Killester into a position to salve the pain of previous losses and win the cup for the first time in nine years.
It was a double whammy of wins for Pyrobel Killester as their women’s NICC team scooped the Hula Hoops National Cup earlier today in style, with a masterclass from MVP Kate McDaid seeing them home to a 56-39 point win against Fr Matthews.
The women in orange avenged last year’s defeat in style, with a massive double double from McDaid (18 points/17 rebound) coupled with huge performances from Catriona White and Lauren Devitt seeing them home.