RECAP: Fulton on fire as Ireland U18M down Denmark
July 30, 2019
Ireland Under 18 men secured their second win at the FIBA U18 Men’s European Championship Division B in Romania today, with an 81-60 point victory over Denmark.
An outstanding display from Ireland’s CJ Fulton saw him inspire the team to victory, finishing out the game with 24 points, four steals and three assists. The Belfast Star player was in incredible form from the off, knocking down eight points in the first quarter and punishing Denmark at every opportunity from outside the three point line throughout. Indeed it was a solid all-round display from the boys in green, with Rapolas Buivydas also impressing with 13 points, while Sanmi Fajana secured 12 points and nine rebounds for the team. There were also strong defensive displays from David Lehane, Nate Moore and James Connaire once more.
A superb first quarter from the boys in green had Denmark on the back foot from early on with Connaire getting Ireland off the mark early on with two great scores, while Buiyvdas, Lehane and a big three from Tiernan Howe stretched the lead even further. Big scoring from Fulton, including two long threes, saw Ireland dominate the period and lead 21-8 at the end of the first. A much stronger second quarter from Denmark followed, with David Fischer and Bakary Dibba working in some nice scores, but Ireland were in firm control with Fulton increasing his tally to 13 points, while Matthew Harper made a massive impression, knocking down two big three pointers. More scores rained in from Connaire, Paul Kelly, Lehane and Fajana to see Ireland with a 49-23 point cushion going in at the half.
It wasn’t all easy for the Irish though, as despite leading by 26 at half time, Denmark came out in flying form in the third quarter, knocking down 17 points in the opening five minutes to put Ireland under pressure. Fulton and Fajana were on hand to steady the ship with some big scores as the quarter ticked down and good boards from Kelly, coupled with solid defense from Lehane and Connaire helped to stem the tide. Though Denmark had the better of the quarter, 18-25, the Irish still held a strong 67-48 point lead going into the last.
A much tighter fourth quarter followed, but again, Ireland’s shooting prowess was to the fore, with Fulton bringing his tally to 24 and Fajana and Buivydas adding key scores. Dibba continued to cause trouble at the other end, but despite another late surge from the Danes, Ireland finished the quarter out comfortably in the end to win 81-60.
Speaking afterwards, assistant coach Ciaran O’Sullivan stated: “We’re absolutely delighted, I think that’s as good as we’ve played since I’ve been involved with the programme. The lads gave it everything. It was tough to play them, as we played them three or four weeks ago, so the teams knew each other very well. We rebounded the ball extremely well and it was an overall great performance. Georgia tomorrow will be a really physical battle. Hopefully we can take today’s confidence into tomorrow and be ready to go again.”
IRELAND: Ronan Cregan, Matthew Harper (8), Nate Moore (4), Paul Kelly (2), CJ Fulton (24), Tiernan Howe (3), James Connaire (7), David Lehane (8), Daire Kennelly, Rapolas Buiyvdas (13), Sanmi Fajana (12), Leeroy Odiahi.
Ireland U18 Men’s team result:
Group Game 4
Ireland 81-60 Denmark
WATCH BACK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nbf423cxfI