Defending MissQuote.ie Super League champions The Address UCC Glanmire and InsureMyVan.ie Super League holders Garvey's Tralee Warriors got off to a winning starts on the opening weekend of the National League.
Garvey’s Tralee Warriors were narrow 105-103 overtime winners against Flexachem KCYMS in a thrilling local derby. The home side had Daniel Jokubaitis to thank, his two point jump shot with just five seconds to go brought it level at 93 apiece and forced overtime.
The additional five minutes was also tight, it was Garvey’s Tralee Warriors’ summer signing De’Ondre Jackson’s driving layup with 11 seconds to go which clinched victory. The American, who joined from University of Galway Maree, top scored with 28 points.
John Dowling admitted his side rode their luck. "A nail biter of a game. Very lucky to get out with a win. Killorgan played some fantastic basketball, but the home crowd helped bring us across the line. Packed complex, a great advertisement for Kerry basketball."
The Address UCC Glanmire had a more comfortable opening day, defeating Killester 93-70 at Neptune Stadium. Their two new Americans Brittany Byrd and Khiarica Rasheed caught the eye, with 27 and 15 points respectively.
Head coach Mark Scannell said: "Yeah very good start, we played well for the first game of the season. I thought we got great contributions from our bench, which augurs well for the season. Killester are always dogged and hard to put away, but we wore them down, despite the effort of their two very good Americans. Our new additions settled in very well, so a good start, but lots to improve on."
Neptune Stadium also hosted the local derby between Energywise Ireland Neptune and UCC Demons, which went down to the wire. A pair of Jordan Evans free throws at the end closed out the narrowest of victories, 92-91. Evans finished with a 27 point haul, including six converted from the arc.
Nil Sabata had 26 points, while Ireland international Jordan Blount, on his Super League debut, scored 19.
Player/coach Colin O’Reilly was relieved afterwards. "Nice result in a game that had pre-season quality, with the emotions of a derby game. The foul count did not help either team get into a flow and it was a case at the end of who could get important stops, as the offence disappeared.
"We move on now with the relief that pre-season is finally over and get into the rhythm of three sessions and a game every week."
Gregory Poleon scored a mightily impressive 40 points, including five three-pointers, as EJ Sligo All-Stars made a winning return to the InsureMyVan.ie Super League, thanks to their 93-82 road success at last season’s North Conference winners, DBS Éanna.
Head coach Shane O’Meara was elated afterwards. "A great team effort. We put a lot of value on our defence and our teamwork and culture shone when Eanna went on a run.
"Greg Poleon is the hardest working big man I've seen here, he's a beast in the paint and has an efficient mid-range and 3-point game, which makes him a match-up nightmare for other teams.
"But above all, he's a warrior and a leader, who makes our practices competitive and extremely enjoyable!"
2020 Super League winners Belfast Star had a 90-67 success against Bright St. Vincent’s. Their two Max’s – Richardson and Cooper - had 22 points apiece. There was the welcome Super League return of Aidan Quinn, after a knee injury ruled him out last season, he got through over 20 minutes and picked up 4 points in the process.
Belfast Star head coach Adrian Fulton gave his reaction to the win. "Very pleased with our performance tonight against a St Vincent's team who have plenty of talent. We are a long way from where we need to be, but it's a good start and winning home games will be crucial in such a tough conference.
"Very difficult to pick out any individuals as we got contributions across the board."
Last season's South Conference winners Emporium Cork Basketball defeated Moycullen 83-49, Killester were 84-82 winners at UCD Marian and University College Maree won 91-70 at Griffith College Templeogue.
Elsewhere in the MissQuote.ie Super League highly fancied Trinity Meteors got the better of last season’s MissQuote.ie Division 1 champions University of Galway Mystics 87-70. It was the clash of two Finns, Hazel picked up 22 points for the Galway club, while sister Dayna had 19. Trinity’s summer signing, Claire Melia, ended on 15.
Waterford Wildcats came up trumps against the other newly promoted club, Ulster University, 81-69. i3PT Fr Mathews picked a narrow 83-81 road win at Leixlip Amenities Liffey Celtics, helped by the 29 point contribution of Sydney Candelaria and 21 points from Lilla Szucs.
On Sunday, an opening day buzzer beater by Ireland U20 international Lauryn Homan set Singleton SuperValu Brunell off to the best possible start following a thriller against DCU Mercy in Cork.
Ireland senior captain Edel Thornton spent most of the afternoon in a scoring duel with her team-mate Rachel Huijsdens. The two combined for 60-points, Thornton contributing 35 of those en-route to the victory.
Singleton SuperValu Brunell head coach Liam Culloty praised both sets of players in the aftermath: "Delighted to get off to a winning start especially at home. It was an epic game and DCU pushed us literally all the way.
"The most pleasing this for us was we never gave up and although we made some mistakes, we just kept playing through them and obviously delighted for Lauryn Homan to step up at the end and hit the winning shot."
MissQuote.ie Super League Results:
Saturday 1 October
Waterford Wildcats 81-69 Ulster University
The Address UCC Glanmire 93-70 Killester
Trinity Meteors 87-70 University of Galway Mystics
Leixlip Amenities Liffey Celtics 81-83 i3PT Fr. Mathews
Sunday 2 October
Singleton SuperValu Brunell 102-101 DCU Mercy
InsureMyVan.ie Super League Results:
Saturday 1 October
Emporium Cork Basketball 83-49 Moycullen
Belfast Star 90-67 Bright St. Vincent’s
Energywise Ireland Neptune 92-91 UCC Demons
UCD Marian 82-84 Killester
DBS Éanna 82-93 EJ Sligo All-Stars
Griffith College Templeogue 70-91 University of Galway Maree
Garvey’s Tralee Warriors 105-103 Flexachem KCYMS
MissQuote.ie Division 1 Results:
Saturday 1 October
Griffith College Templeogue 51-48 Moy Tolka Rovers
Limerick Sport Huskies 45-60 Portlaoise Panthers
Oblate Dynamos 50-53 Swords Thunder
Marble City Hawks 42-82 St. Paul’s Killarney
Sunday October 2
McEvoy's Cavan Eagles 84-72 SETU Carlow
Limerick Celtics 88-78 Phoenix Rockets
InsureMyVan.ie Division 1 Results:
Saturday 1 October
SETU Carlow 101-40 Killarney Cougars
Team North West 89-77 Abbey Seals Dublin Lions
Dwyers of Cork Fr. Mathews 85-100 Limerick Celtics
Moy Tolka Rovers 75-68 Portlaoise Panthers
Malahide 65-82 Ulster University
Drogheda Wolves 99-56 SETU Waterford Vikings
Scotts Lakers SPK 69-80 Limerick Sport Eagles