IT was a night to remember for Limerick basketball in the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght on Friday night.
Firstly, UL claimed the Women’s SuperLeague National Cup Final and then two hours later, UL Eagles lifted the Men’s SuperLeague National Cup Final.
It was a first women’s cup title since 2006, while the men’s success ended a wait stretching back to the BurgerKing success of 2002.
The women’s side ruthlessly dethroned reigning champions DCU Mercy 64-27 .
December 2010 was the last time that James Weldon’s side tasted defeat and with Michelle Fahy (16), Rachel Vanderwal (15) and Rachel Clancy (10) all in fine scoring form the Limerick side never looked in trouble.
UL were in command at the half time interval, Miriam Liston hitting a huge three for her side with seconds to go to give UL a 23-13 lead.
They eased through the second period for a 28th victory of an incredible unbeaten run. The UL Eagles, meanwhile, were 72-65 winners over UCC Demons.
American Robert Taylor put in a MVP performance with 29 points, while captain Neil Campbell from Caherdavin hit 12. The Limerick side trailed 39-34 at the interval.
Scott Kinevane got UL off to a flyer at the beginning of the third to reduce the deficit to three. Neil Campbell stepped up moments later to bring Eagles to within one. Taylor brought the sides level soon afterwards as UL’s charge gathered further momentum. Taylor ran riot in the space of a minute to give Eagles a four point lead and they eventually headed into the final quarter, 55-53 ahead.
UL lost the 6’10 Jason Kileen mid-way through the final quarter, but Eagles responded well with consecutive scores from Matt Hall and Scott Kinevane. Taylor gave UL the lead soon afterwards before Neil Campbell raised the roof with a superb three to give Eagles a three point lead with as many minutes remaining. It was a stirring final quarter from Eagles, who rounded off in style through Matt Hall to secure a memorable 72-65 winners after an epic contest.