RECAP: 2016 U20 Men's National Cup Final

RECAP: 2016 U20 Men's National Cup Final

  • Jan 31,2016
Sunday, 31st January, 2016
Hula Hoops U20 Men’s National Cup Final
BFG Neptune 88, St. Vincent’s 82
National Basketball Arena

Just 24 hours after claiming their first underage trophy in 15 years, BFG Neptune completed a dream double with a maiden victory in the Hula Hoops U20 Men’s National Cup final. They beat St. Vincent’s of Dublin 88-82 in a thrilling decider. It’s the first time any club has ever held the U18 and U20 Men’s trophies in the same season. 

Four players went home with two medals around their neck. Liam Chandler, Adam Heaphy, and Adam Drummond were vital contributors and Sean Jenkins was the star. The double MVP was a force of momentum in the fourth quarter as Neptune pulled off a 12 point swing, Jenkins finishing with 26 points, eight rebounds and five assists. 

“That’s the stuff of dreams,” said Neptune Coach Kieran Leahy. We were down in the first, down in the fourth and we came back twice. That’s the heart of champions.”

St. Vincent’s were anything but passengers. They were afforded enough uncontested shots in the first quarter to ease into a 25-10 lead. Martin Neary hit four from five while his team mates were out-assisting Neptune by eight to one.

Neptune’s individual talent was there to see but they only started to join the dots in the second quarter. Bryan Murphy kick started an 8-0 run from the left wing with Jamie Beadle helping to maintain momentum. 

St. Vincent’s kept their edge with impressive contributions off the bench from Scott Dermody and Alex Bowers. Graham Brannelly was a constant threat too but Neptune were back to 38-40 at half time when Sean Jenkins wrapped the ball the around the basket off a baseline drive.

The game ramped up in the third. McGeever looked good off the bench for Vincent’s while Neary and Brannelly were hitting the big threes. St. Vincent’s were still finding the open shooter and eventually freed up Martin Neary to put 13 points between the sides with seven minutes remaining. 

Cups and comebacks go hand in hand in basketball. Sean Jenkins knifed through Vincent’s zone and Gregorz Fuchs got a huge stop plus a trip to the free-throw line. When Jenkins broke free with seconds remaining, he wasn’t even looking at the basket. He ran straight into the arms of the Neptune fans. The stuff of dreams.

BFG Neptune: Jamie Beadle 2, Geogorz Fuchs 11, Sean Jenkins 26, Adam Heaphy 12, Bryan Murphy 19. Substitutes: Alan Morgan, David Madden, Eric McCarthy, Evan Lordan, Jason O’Flynn, Luke Madden, Ross Murphy, Adam Drummond 14, Daniel Maguire, Liam Chandler 4.
 
St. Vincent’s: Jamie Harding 2, Conor Gilligan 12, Graham Brannelly 27, Martin Neary 17, Cathal Barron 4. Substitutes: Alan Eustace, David Harding, Alex Bowers 5, Cathal Barron, Scott Dermody 12, Shane Davidson 1, Andrew McGeever 2.
HT: BFG Neptune 38, St Vincent’s 40
MVP: Sean Jenkins 
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