RECAP: Ireland U18 men go 3-0 at European Championships
July 24, 2018
The cheers of the Irish support could be heard throughout the stadium this afternoon as the Ireland Under 18 men’s team continued their unbeaten streak at the FIBA Under 18 European Championship Division C with an 80-71 point win over Monaco in a thriller this afternoon.
David Murray was one of the stand-out stars for the Irish, with a whopping 32 points and 15 rebounds for the boys in green to help see them home a third win on the trot.
It was Monaco who got off to the better start though as, after David Murray opened the scoring for the Irish, Monaco edged in front dominating at both ends to take the lead. Good work under the boards from Eoin Nelson plus a vital basket from Paul Kelly finally broke the deadlock for the Irish, while a huge 10-point quarter from Murray helped to close the gap to 16-14 in favour of Monaco at the end of the first.
Murray spins through the defense to tie the game 16-16 against Monaco wth 9.20 to play Q2 @Neptune1BC #FIBAU18Europe #GreenShoots #COYBIG https://t.co/Td28Ij48p5 @KPMG @ValentiaTech pic.twitter.com/gCMWX7hjnJ— Basketball Ireland (@BballIrl) July 24, 2018
Within a matter of seconds of the restart, Murray spun his way through the Monaco defence to tie the game at 16 apiece, and Oisin Rice put Ireland into the lead from the free throw line. Scores from Darragh O’Sullivan, Conor Liston and Murray followed, while Paul Kelly drove through with ease to help increase the lead. Big defense from James Conniare and Cillian O'Driscoll and a huge quarter from Jay Kavanagh helped to give Ireland the edge, and he added five points to see Ireland into the lead at half time, 31-39.
THREE GAMES IN A ROW for Darragh O’Sullivan. Just as you asked @deirdrebrennann With 7.38 to play Q4 it’s Monaco 57 Ireland 65 #FIBAU18Europe #GreenShoots #COYBIG Live stats here: https://t.co/Td28Ij48p5 @KPMG @ValentiaTech pic.twitter.com/sihgyjG0lG— Basketball Ireland (@BballIrl) July 24, 2018
A tense third quarter followed as, despite Ireland opening up a ten-point lead in the opening seconds, Monaco were not giving up easily. Big scores from them saw them bring the gap back to six, but Murray was on hand once more to steady the ship and put distance back between the two sides and, by the end of the third, had increased his personal tally to 27 points. Kelly and O’Sullivan added scores to see Ireland hold a six-point lead going into the last 52-58.
The sharp shooting of Nate Moore was one of the talking points of the fourth quarter, as he hit two bigs threes in a row to help Ireland keep ahead in the face of Monaco’s pressure. Big work under the boards from Eoin McCann saw him on the free throw line on a number of occasions throughout the quarter, while strong play from Rice set up scores from Murray, O’Sullivan and Kelly to keet Ireland’s lead intact, and they ran out 71-80 point winners in the end.
He just can’t miss Nate Moore again to make it Monaco 61-70 Ireland with 4.27 to play Q4 #FIBAU18Europe #GreenShoots #COYBIG Live stats here: https://t.co/Td28Ij48p5 @KPMG @ValentiaTech pic.twitter.com/CcexhgiMbB— Basketball Ireland (@BballIrl) July 24, 2018
Speaking afterwards, Galway man Paul Kelly said: "We're feeling great, this is exactly where we wanted to be, three wins out of three. We have a day off tomorrow so we'll get a good rest and chill out a bit and then refocus on our last group game on Thursday against Moldova."
Ireland have a rest day tomorrow (Wednesday) with games continuing for them on Thursday when they face Moldova at 1.30pm Irish time.
IRELAND: Paul Kelly (14), Jay Kavanagh (5), Nathan Moore (9), James Connaire, Cillian O’Driscoll (3), David Murray (32), Eoin McCann (1), Darragh O’Sullivan (12), Oisin Rice (3), Conor Liston (1), Matt Harper, Eoin Nelson.
Ireland Under 18 men’s Results – FIBA European Championship
Tuesday, July 24th
Monaco 71-80 Ireland
EVENT WEBSITE: http://www.fiba.basketball/europe/u18c/2018