It was a clash of the titans on opening night in Oblate Hall as UCC Demons fell to Templeogue while UL Eagles were the only club from outside of Dublin to record a win on the opening day of the Irish season
After around 3 years of not playing any hoops at all, Paul Cummins dropped 31 points as Templeogue beat C&S UCC Demons 97-87 in Oblate Hall. The defeat ended a 27 game unbeaten stretch, running back to the spring of 2014, for the Cork club. “We looked at that game in Galway and felt we let that one go,” said Templeogue head coach Mark Keenan. “We believed that if we did got it right, we had the personnel to stop them and do the job for us.”
The win was payback for Templeogue after falling to Demons in the Champions Trophy final to close last season and the Dublin club pulled off the win despite the absence of injured big man Jason Killeen. “They seemed stronger and more prepared. When it came down to the fourth they ran their sets and we seemed out of sorts. Now we’re chasing something,” said Kyle Hosford, point guard with Demons.
The reaction from the Templeogue fans and players (visible in the video below) showed the scale of the win for the club. On opening day in what is just an 18 game season, they have taken a big step to making it a more competitive title race this year.
UCD Marian got into a big hole in their home opener against Belfast Star. Last season’s cup finalists were trailing by 11 entering the final frame before a furious rally got them back on top, eventually pulling off a 65-58 win in Belfield.
GCD Swords Thunder were without large swathes of their foreign legion due to injury and work commitments at the weekend but they still had enough to win the highest scoring game of the weekend. Swords saw off Premier League newcomers Éanna 103-92 to take the lone Dublin derby of the weekend.
Pyrobel Killester saw off the challenge of the top flight’s other new side, SSE Airtricity Moycullen, to make it four wins for clubs from the capital on Saturday. Moycullen kept it reasonably close but fell 72-64.
UL Eagles ensured it wasn’t a clean sweep for the capital on Saturday as they recorded a big win over DCU Saints to open the season, taking the W 74-57.
Looking ahead to next week, here’s what’s on the docket…
GCD Swords Thunder v UL Eagles, Alsaa, Dublin, 18:00
SSE Airtricity Moycullen v UCD Marian, NUIG Kingfisher, 19:00
DCU Saints v Templeogue BC, DCU Sports Complex, Dublin, 19:00
Belfast Star v Eanna BC, Methodist College, Belfast, 19:00
Pyrobel Killester v C&S UCC Demons, IWA Clontarf, Dublin, 19:30
The stand-out fixture is the clash of the unbeatens in Alsaa however Demons efforts to get back on track against Killester coupled with Éanna’s trip to Star promise to give insight into what to expect from these sides in the weeks to come.
Update Thanks to Pyrobel Killester for sending along highlights of their women’s team’s win in the Premier League over Liffey Celtics, Killester took the W 89-80.