Templeogue squeaked past Pyrobel Killester and into the Hula Hoops Men’s National Cup final for the first time with a 61-59 win at the Mardyke Arena. Killester led from the eighth to the 38th minute of a low-scoring game but Templeogue eventually reeled in an 11 point lead to win by a basket.
“You could see we were tired at the end of the game,” said Templeogue Coach Mark Keenan, who has won this competition in the past with both Killester and UL Eagles. “Killester were tired too. It was that kind of game. I’m just delighted we were able to pull it out at the finish.”
Killester opted to shoot for three and win the game with the last shot of the game, but Jermaine Turner’s effort fell short. Moments beforehand, Keith Anderson thought he had leveled the scores at 60-60 before he was adjudged to have put a foot on the line when shooting from the same distance.
Templeogue drew level tfought their way back into the game with Jason Killeen matching Jermaine Turner for rebounding. It was the Limerick man’s reverse layup that drew the sides level before Stephen James hit a deep two with 90 seconds left to give pulling down more rebounds and stepped up with Lorcan Murphy and Stephen James to make big shots down the stretch.
“They had us on the ropes in the first half,” said Killeen. “We’ve won a lot of close games this year and I think it’s really stood to us. They had us on the ropes in the first half but we spoke about cleaning up defensively and we just pulled it together.”
Killester looked every inch the winning side for the majority of the game. Ciaran Roe had shaken off a viral infection to run distribution with Jermaine Turner imposing himself and Paul Dick combining with Keith Anderson to keep Templeogue at bay for 30 minutes.
The win looked closer still when Dick landed a triple and then went coast-to-coast to make it 57-51 with 5:30 left on the clock. Killester were six clear at that stage but only managed one more basket in the remainder.
Templeogue: Stephen James 8, Sean Flood 6, Conor Grace 14, Lorcan Murphy 17, Jason Killeen 10. Substitutes: Ronan McLoughlin 0, Michael Bonaparte, Shane Homan, Baolach Morrisson 4, Tomasz Swiatowy 2, Rob Daly.
Pyrobel Killester: Paul Dick 18, Keith Anderson 8, Al Casey 4, Patrick Sullivan 5, Jermaine Turner 13. Substitutes: Jonathan Grennell, Mike Calo, Conor Gordon, Juan Martinez, Ciaran Roe 5, Eoghain Kiernan 6.
GCD Swords Thunder 103, C&S UCC Demons 82
GCD Swords Thunder controlled their Hula Hoops Men’s National Cup Semi-final from start to finish to beat C&S UCC Demons by 103-82 at the Mardyke Arena. The Dublin side are through to their first Cup final at Premier League level, guaranteeing an all-Dublin decider on January 30th.
“We knew we had to get clinical in the second half of the season and there were some home truths and good talks over Christmas,” said GCD Swords Thunder Coach Dave Baker. “I feel it’s really stood to us.”
Colin O’Reilly opening the scoring with his first three-point attempt but Swords responded with a 6-0 run and led by double scores midway through the first courtesy of a Kevin Lacey jump shot. Mike Garrow drove to the middle for a dunk which put the Dubliners 23-16 ahead for the first quarter.
Ciaran O’Sullivan found his range in the second quarter while Roy Downey was happy to pull up for two points when the space allowed. With Isaac Westbrooks lurking in the passing lanes, Demons were unable to find a rhythm. It was Thunder’s point guard who put the lead out to 10 points for the first time and when a 6-0 run soon followed, Swords Thunder were 50-37 clear by half time.
The third quarter was the home side’s best. Colin O’Reilly began pulling down rebounds and a Kyle Hosford three-pointer jump started the crowd back to life.
Dave Baker was forced into a time out when Lehmon Colbert ‘s drive reduced the deficit to eight points.
That was as close as Demons got. When Sergi Guardia wasn’t finding Mike Garrow inside, the American had the athleticism to penetrate by himself.
“We didn’t feel at any stage we let it drop and we tried to control the tempo and I feel we came out on top,” said Baker.
With Michael Goj and Westbrooks picking off open threes, there was 20 points between the sides with 11 minutes remaining.
C&S UCC Demons: Adrian O’Sullivan 8, Kyle Hosford 24, Lehmon Colbert 21, Roy Downey 9, Colin O’Reilly 10. Substitutes: Ciaran O’Sullivan 5, Darragh O’Hanlon 0, Liam Carmody 0, Niall O’Reilly, Carlton Cuff 2, Jack O’Mahony 2, Darko Bucan 1.
GCD Swords Thunder: Dan Nelms 4, Kevin Lacey 10, Alex Dolenko 17, Sergi Guardia 13, Isaac Westbrooks 25. Substitutes: Iulian Corneanu, Davy O’Leary, Paul Caffrey 1, Michael Goj 17, Derek McMahon 4, Mike Garrow 12.
Hula Hoops Women's National Cup Semi-Finals:
January 9th, 2016
Mardyke Arena, Cork
Pyrobel Killester 72, Maxol WIT Wildcats 65
Pyrobel Killester are on their way back to the Hula Hoops Women’s National Cup final this year following a dramatic win over Maxol WIT Wildcats in an action-packed thriller in Cork’s Mardyke Arena this evening.
Speaking afterwards, Head Coach Karl Kilbride was relieved to hear the final buzzer.
“We’re very happy, the performance could have been better, but we kept the pace up at the end and it paid off.”
“It feels absolutely brilliant, to get to a second final and to get another chance to win it this year is something else. They got a run on us in the third quarter, but we kept at it and once we got that lead we knew we weren’t going to lose it,” added Aisling Sullivan.
A closely-contested first quarter saw fantastic scoring at either end, with Mel Stone netting a well-taken jump shot to keep the scoring ticking over for Wildcats. At the other end though, Aisling Sullivan was driving the attack forward and Raeshel Contreras found her range to net a three.
A Cathy Kavanagh jump shot got the scoring underway in the second, while Jazmen Boone strode the length of the court to send Wildcats into the lead. This was extended by Stone but a brilliant move down the baseline by Contreras at the other end tied the game at 23 apiece. Boone again responded in style, but Ali Maguire put the pressure on to force a turnover and the crowd roared as Killester were back on the attack once more.
Two perfectly crafted jump shots from Helena Rohan seemed to give Wildcats some breathing room, but fantastic rebounding from Anna Pupin and a three-pointer from Contreras made it game on yet again. Michelle Clarke jumped high to hit the target to send Killester into the dressing room at half-time 36-31 ahead.
The third quarter was an absolute thriller as Wildcats hit their stride once more. Rohan got the scoring off to a great start, and despite baskets from Aoibheann Byrne at the other end and pressure from Katie Fox, Wildcats took control and enjoyed a 14-0 run to put them into the lead. However, Killester got back into the game when Aine McDonnell finally interrupted the scoring spree, netting two baskets in quick succession off the fast break. Contreras added a three and as the buzzer sounded, Wildcats had just a one-point lead to bring them into the last quarter.
It was all action once more in the fourth, with Killester’s Anna Pupin taking a lay-up in the opening seconds, before Boone responded for Wildcats and it was end-to-end action as each side vied for supremacy. Control of the scoreboard changed with every attack, as one point remained between the sides for most of the closing quarter, and just as Killester took the lead, Boone was on hand to give Wildcats a one point advantage once more. Kavanagh soon increased their lead to three, but it wouldn’t be for long as Sullivan was again on hand to bring her side back into it. Tensions mounted as the clock ticked down and Killester’s Rebecca Nagle hit an impressive three-pointer, followed by two points from Pupin to open up a six-point gap with just over two minutes to go.
Nobody in the crowd was willing to write off Wildcats just yet though and a determined Kavanagh quickly pulled back two for her side. However, Killester had the edge and they weren’t going to let it go, as points from Sullivan and Boone sent them further into the lead and ultimately, to a 72-65 point victory and their second final in as many years.
Pyrobel Killester: Raeshel Contreras, Michelle Clarke, Ali Connolly, Aisling Sullivan, Ali Maguire, Ali Cleary, Aisling McCann, Emma Sherwood, Caoimhe Moore, Ally McGrath, Aine McDonnell, Aoibheann Byrne, Hannah Thornton, Rebecca Nagle, Niamh O’Donovan, Anna Pupin
Maxol WIT Wildcats: Katie Fox, Helena Rohan, Jordan Kervick, Annie Fanning, Sarah Whelan, Ruthie Leavey, Mel Stone, Sinead Deegan, Jazmen Boone, Emily Fanning, Cathy Kavanagh, Marie Micoud.
Hula Hoops Women’s National Cup Semi-Finals:
January 9th, 2016
Mardyke Arena, Cork
Team Montenotte Hotel 77, Meteors 61
Team Montenotte Hotel will be heading back to the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght to defend their Hula Hoops Women’s National Cup title after they overcame a resilient Meteors at the Mardyke Arena in Cork this evening.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for the reigning champions though, as Meteors dominated proceedings in the second quarter, enjoying a 10-0 run and taking a slender two-point lead into the dressing room at half-time.
However, the champions showed their character and grit as the game ticked on and this year’s final will now be a repeat of last year’s as Team Montenotte Hotel will once more face off to Pyrobel Killester.
Gráinne Dwyer got the scoring underway with a three-pointer from the top of the key and a fast-paced and high-scoring first quarter followed, with good shooting from Jade Daly of Meteors and Claire Rockall for Montenotte. Rockall added two more off the fast break, while Marie Breen created a touch of magic with the ball, somehow picking out Chantell Alford to send the Cork team further ahead. Then Katie O’Flaherty skipped inside for two for Meteors to close the quarter 20-17 in favour of Glanmire.
It was the second quarter when Meteors really came into their own, with McGuinness getting their period of dominance underway with two baskets in quick succession. Despite an impressive performance from Aine McKenna at the other end, it was all Meteors as Kate O’Flaherty rose high for three, with more points added shortly after by Jade Daly and McGuinness. Fiona Meany extended their lead before McKenna finally broke their scoring run with a full court drive. A somewhat rattled Montenotte regrouped in the time out and soon began working their way back from the 10-point deficit, with Dwyer, Alford and McKenna all adding scores to leave them trailing by just two at half-time, 37-35.
Glanmire kept the pressure on as the second half got underway, and a dazzling run up the court from Dwyer saw her tee up McKenna close to the base line for two points to edge the Cork side back in front by the smallest of margins. Seconds later, Dwyer again pulled a rebound out of the clouds, and powered the ball up court to Rockall who found Alford, and she made no hesitation in slotting home yet another three-pointer. Montenotte were beginning to take control of proceedings, with Dwyer and Rockall intuitively knowing how to find each other, while Alford was dominating the scoreboard. Despite good shooting from O’Flaherty at the other end, Haley Lenihan came off the bench for Glanmire and immediately made an impression, hitting two in a row straight away, and added her third basket of the day when Alford picked her out from the opposite end of the court. Indeed, the latter added another three to send Montenotte into a ten-point lead, as momentum continued to stay with Cork and the game ticked into the final quarter.
Despite hard work from Fiona Meany, Leer and Daly for Meteors, it just wasn’t enough, as Aine McKenna sailed home another three, and Dwyer, Alford and Rockall all added scores to run out 77-61 point winners.
Team Montenotte Hotel: Claire Rockall, Gráinne Dwyer, Chantell Alford, Amanda O’Regan, Marie Breen, Miriam Byrne, Eve O’Mahony, Haley Lenihan, Aine McKenna, Lesley Ann Wilkinson, Hanna McCarthy, Sarah Kenny.
Hula Hoops Senior Women’s National Cup Semi-Finals:
January 10th, 2016
Parochial Hall, Cork
Oblate Dynamos 57, Fr. Mathews 53
Good shooting from the free-throw line booked Oblate Dynamos a spot in the Hula Hoops Senior Women’s National Cup this morning as they overcame Fr. Mathews 57-53 at the Parochial Hall in Cork.
“It all came down to free-throws in the end,” said Oblate Head Coach Terry Staunton. “Thankfully, our defence held firm too and we managed to close the game. We’ve met Fr. Mathews a good few times this year, and this is the best we’ve ever played against them. It’s great to be headed for a final."
Discipline became the name of the game as the fourth quarter ticked down in this game, as with nothing separating the sides and both teams on team fouls, it was a case of who would be able to keep their cool and see it out to the end. It was Katie Black for Oblate Dynamos who managed to put space between the sides, with the difference coming from her shooting from the free-throw line after strong rebounding saw her fouled time and time again.
Up until that point, the last quarter was a tense and nerve-wracking battle for supremacy, with just one point separating the sides for the majority of the quarter, but when Oblate finally pulled two clear through Black, their defence stood firm to ensure they held the lead at the last 40 seconds ticked down.
Indeed, the entire game was an evenly-matched and closely contested affair. Oblate had the better of the opening exchanges, with Katie Black and Samantha Massey getting the scoring underway. At the other end, all eyes were on Fiona Lynch and Mai O’Leary who were slotting home points with ease. However, the star of the first quarter was Heather Meagher who caused havoc under the boards for Oblate, twisting and turning her way to basket after basket to give her side an 18-14 lead.
It was Fr. Mathews though who took control in the second, mainly thanks to superb rebounding by Louise O’Connor and fantastic shooting from O’Leary once more. At the other end, it was Shannon Farrell who kept Oblate in contention and Fr Mathews had to settle for a four-point lead at half time, 30-26.
Control of the game shifted once more as the third quarter got underway. Despite a good score from O’Leary for Mathews, scores from Massey, Shannon Whelan and Meagher drew the game level. It was the battle of the three-pointers then as Kellie Cahalane hit the mark for Mathews, but Katie Moloney was on hand to net two big ones for Oblate. Meanwhile, brilliant rebounding from Black saw her go coast to coast for a fantastic score to give the Dublin side the lead, 40-37 at the break.
Meagher opened the scoring for Oblate as the last quarter began to tick down, but fantastic work by O’Leary for Fr. Mathews saw her tee up Breen off the fast break to close the gap back to one. Fr. Mathews took the lead then through Lynch, but not for long as Oblate responded again. Control of the scoreboard switched between the sides six times, before Dearbhla Breen finally put two between the sides when she scored from the free-throw line for Fr. Mathews.
Again, Oblate were ready to reply, with a fantastic score from Farrell tying the game and as the minutes ticked down, it all came down to discipline as both teams were on team fouls. It was Oblate’s Katie Black that was called upon time after time to step up to the free throw line as a fantastic performance under the boards saw her cause major trouble for Fr. Mathews. Black hit five free-throws in the closing minute and a half and it was this that ultimately sent her side on their way to the National Arena in Tallaght for the final.
Hula Hoops Senior Women’s National Cup Semi-Finals:
January 10th, 2016
Parochial Hall, Cork
NUIG Mystics 67, Ulster Rockets 41
NUIG Mystics stormed their way to the Hula Hoops Senior Women’s National Cup final this weekend with a comprehensive 67-41 point victory over Ulster Rockets at Parochial Hall, Cork.
“We struggled for a little bit, we got a bit complacent earlier in the second quarter, but we turned it back on then and we’re looking forward to the final now,” said NUIG Mystics Head Coach Mike Murray.
Indeed, while the Galway side never looked to be in any real danger of relinquishing their lead throughout the game, a resilient Ulster Rockets side kept them on their toes right up until the final buzzer.
Mystics hit the ground running from the off, taking the lead within seconds of the game getting underway and maintained it throughout the four quarters. Ailish O’Reilly was first to get Mystics off the mark and she stormed to the basket twice in quick succession to lay down a marker of things to come from the talented squad. A somewhat rattled Ulster Rockets didn’t have much time to settle at all, as NUIG enjoyed a 10-0 run before Rockets’ Rebecca Barker got their scoring started. Fantastic performances from Siobhan Kilkenny and Michelle Fahy early on ensured Mystics continued to stamp their dominance on the game, and despite good shooting from Ulster’s Emma O’Connor, NUIG lead 19-7 at the end of the first.
The break did Rockets the world of good though, as they started to bring the game to Mystics in the second quarter. Barker, O’Connor and Louisa Donnelly all hit the mark for the northern side, and started putting the pressure on Mystics. Marritta Gilcrease settled NUIG with a well-taken jump shot, and they closed the half still in control, 34-21.
Momentum swung back in favour of Rockets as the second half got underway, with Helena O’Dornan key for the Ulster side, adding basket after basket to close the gap to nine points at one stage. Mystics once more kept their cool though, and points from Gilcrease, Fahy and Kilkenny saw them safely into the fourth on a scoreline of 48-30.
Mystics kept driving forward in the last quarter and, with good shooting from Kilkenny and O’Reilly, soon opened up a 27-point gap. Despite great work from O’Connor and Nicola Rafferty for Rockets, they ran out of time and NUIG Mystics march on to the final.
C&S Blue Demons can look forward to contesting the Hula Hoops Presidents’ Cup Final following a clinical 86-69 victory over Pyrobel Killester at Neptune Stadium.
“We’re buzzing again, second final in a row now, they’re a great bunch of lads, and again they’ve come out with something special,” said Head Coach Tim O’Halloran. “I was nervous enough going out against Killester, they have some veterans in the team who have played Super League, but once we got a good start I knew we could push away in the second half.”
Brian O’Neill opened the scoring for Demons with a three-pointer as the sides began to find their feet early on. John Behan responded in kind at the other end shortly after, before O’Neill once more showed off his shooting prowess by netting another three to keep Demons ahead.
Indeed, it was a showcase of shooting from both Behan and O’Neill, but Demons just had the edge, taking a four-point lead into the second quarter – a lead they would not relinquish.
Eric Davis kept Killester in touch in the second with some great rebounding, while David Murphy was on target for the Cork side to ensure they held onto their lead. A three-pointer from Michael Hennebry brought the game back to just three, as Simon Behan worked tirelessly to keep the Demons’ attack at bay. Shane Duggan stretched the Cork team’s lead, despite the best efforts from Jerome Westbrooks, to send Demons into the break with a slender 42-38 point lead.
Murphy and Behan exchanged scores early on in a close and tense third quarter, while Shane McCarthy added to Demons’ lead with a well-taken jump shot. Good work under the boards by Mark O’Leary teed O’Neill up for yet another three-pointer, while an on-form Davis kept Killester in touch with some brilliant offensive rebounding. A jump shot from the top of the key by Killester’s Colin Bernard once more left just three between the sides, but as before, O’Neill was on hand to point a three for Demons. Shane Buckley rose high in the air to pull off a fantastic block on Killester’s Davis who was hunting for another basket to add to his tally and, not to be deterred, found the target seconds later to make it a two-point game. A well-timed basket from Buckley somewhat reasserted Demons’ control over the game, and O’Neill finished the quarter strong to ensure the Cork team had a 61-53 point lead going into the last.
Demons started strongest in the final quarter and had widened the margin to 15 points before Killester’s Hennebry and Simon Behan narrowed the gap once more. However, scores rained in from Shane Duggan, Dylan Olden and Shane McCarthy for Demons to secure a well-earned win.
C&S Blue Demons: Shane Duggan, Shane McCarthy, David Murphy, Brian O’Neill, Shane Buckley. Substitutes: Dylan Olden, Craig Duggan, Robbie McGowan, Mark O’Leary, Glen Dunlea, Cian Clernon, Tim O’Halloran.
Coach: Tim O’Halloran
Pyrobel Killester: Simon Behan, John Behan, Eric Davis, Michael Hennebry, Colin Bernard. Substitutes: Joseph O’Connor, Grigor Dimitrov, Jody O’Neill, Peder Madsen, Jerome Westbrooks, Barry Ryan.
Coach: Tom Doherty
Hula Hoops Presidents' Cup Semi-Finals:
Maree BC 84, Fr Mathews 80
The second Hula Hoops Presidents’ Cup semi-final dished up a thrilling encounter between Fr Mathews and Maree BC, with the latter just managing to hold on in the dying seconds to secure their place in the final.
“We were 10 or 12 points up near the end and we should have been able to keep that lead, but in fairness to them, they came back into the game well and it really made it a nail-biting finish," said Maree Head Coach, John Finn.
A close and hotly-contested first quarter was kicked off by the in-form Sean Cantwell for Fr Mathews. The Cork side had a 6-0 run before Maree found the target, but that was to be the last breathing space they would have, as scores from Maree’s Paulius Peldzius, Kenneth Hansberry and Cathal Finn matched those at the other end by Cantwell and Paul O’Driscoll to leave the game neck-in-neck.
The second quarter continued in intense fashion, with Owen Connolly pushing Fr Mathews three in front, before Maree’s Hansberry somehow managed to keep his hands on the ball to set up Finn. Indeed, Maree’s speed at moving the ball proved to be decisive as, after Fleming stretched the margin, Padraig Burke and Hansberry responded almost immediately to tie the game. A fantastic steal from Burke left him with an uncontested lay-up and suddenly, Maree were in front. However, Sean Cantwell was ready with a reply and with fantastic rebounding from Barry Denieffe, Fr Mathews just had the edge at half-time, 35-32.
The crowd were in for yet more excitement as the second half got underway, with Hansberry tying the game within seconds. He was then on hand to provide a vital block at the other end, before hitting a three-pointer on the counter-attack, while a fantastic rebound by Enda Walsh put Maree into the lead once again. Despite a fight back from Fr Mathews, Maree hit a 12-0 scoring spree with brilliant shooting from Cathal Finn and Peldzius, combined with fantastic offensive rebounding from Colm O’Hagan, to see them finish out the quarter 63-51 ahead.
Maree continued to dominate the early exchanges of the fourth quarter, with Hansberry, Finn and Peldzius hitting the target. They had soon opened up a 16-point lead, but Fr Mathews were not done yet. The comeback was launched through Cantwell, McGinn and the brilliant Owen Connelly and they soon had the margin closed back to four to ensure a tense finish.
A well-taken shot under pressure from Barry Denieffe with just 30 seconds on the clock put just two between the sides and, with time running out, it was Sean Cantwell who stepped up to the free-throw line. Unfortunately for Fr Mathews, he didn’t convert and instead, Enda Walsh had the last say of the game from the opposite free-throw line, netting both of his shots to win the game 84-80.
Maree: Cathal Finn, Padraig Burke, Colm O’Hagan, Paulius Peldzius, Kenneth Hansberry. Substitutes: Charlie Crowley, Eoin Rockall, Stephen Commins, Enda Walsh, Ciaran Blaney, Sergi Marti, EJ Lewis.
Coach: John Finn
Fr Mathews: Jason O’ Donnoghue, Mike McGinn, Sean Cantwell, Paul O’ Driscoll, Barry Denieffe. Substitutes: Rakas Lazar, Daragh Fleming, Owen Connolly, Colm Keating, Cary Williamsom, Donal McCarthy, Anthony Coughlan.