In the Basketball Ireland Women’s Division One, another unbeaten run was toppled this weekend as Trinity Meteors won out in thrilling fashion over the unbeaten Ulster University in Dublin on Sunday, 91-82.
The hosts were in flying form from the off with Lauren Grigsby – who finished the game with 34 points – dominating early, to send Meteors into a 46-33 point lead at the half. Ulster University rallied back in the second half with great play from Lexi Posset (29 points) as they chipped away at the lead and were trailing by just four points late in the fourth quarter to leave the game in the balance. Meteors didn’t panic though, and held their composure to close out the 91-82 win.
The final game of the weekend saw UL Huskies host Team Tom McCarthy's St Mary’s in a close finish, with St Mary’s just pipping Huskies to win 43-46. St Mary’s started the better of the two teams, 12-29, lead at the half. Summer King and Cathy Grant combined for 28 points as they helped Huskies rally back as the game went down to the wire. St Mary’s had just enough in the end to claim the away win.
Tipperary Knights came away with a 53-69 win on the road over Limerick Celtics on Saturday afternoon. Courtney Strait led the way for the Knights, finishing the game with 21 points, along with support from Shelley and Rosie Tobin. Kendall Bradbury put on an impressive performance of her own (23 points) for Celtics as they tried to get back into the game, but it wasn’t enough at Knights secured the away win.
Swords Thunder saw off the test of Fabplus North West with an 88-67 win at home on Saturday. Fabplus North West started the better of the two teams as they led 38-45 at the half through the help of Shannon Cunningham. Thunder battled back through the scoring of Peggy Black (22 points) in a fantastic second half performance, to run out eventual winners.
Basketball Ireland Men’s Division One
Limerick Celtics hosted the Limerick Sport Eagles in an exciting Saturday evening derby clash. The game was a close contest from the start with Limerick Sports Eagles holding a slim 53-57 lead at the half. Carlos Hortelano (37 points) and Kevin Oberweiser (26 points) were immense for Celtics, but the standout on the court was Reece Dupler for Eagles who scored an enormous 43 points to help his side to a hard-earned 93-101 point victory.
Tradehouse Central Ballincollig are now the only unbeaten team across the four National Leagues following an absolutely thrilling comeback in their top of the table clash with LYIT Donegal in Cork on Saturday afternoon. LYIT were stunning in the first half, with Manny Payton and Dom Uhl in dazzling form, to see the visitors into a 35-50 point lead at half time. Still dominating early in the third, Ballincollig looked for a leader and they found one in Ciaran O’Sullivan who nailed two huge three-pointers to suddenly swing the momentum back in Ballincollig’s favour. Charlie McKinney and Mario Garcia replied with some brilliant scores as the two sides shot the lights out. Ronan O’Sullivan stepped up another gear for Ballincollig though and by the end of the third, the gap was down to seven, LYIT Leading 61-68. A superb fourth quarter followed, with Inigio Zabola and Ciaran O’Sullivan dazzling for Ballincollig and a huge score from Ronan O’Sullivan saw him head to the free throw line for the bonus to draw the game up at 83 points apiece. Zabola delivered a dagger three moments later to put Ballincollig in the lead for the first time with 36 seconds to play, and free throws from Ronan O’Sullivan saw them pip it by four points in the end, 87-83.
Scotts Lakers St Paul’s Killarney earned a notable away win in Jordanstown on Saturday afternoon, running out 81-94 point winners over Ulster University. St Paul’s were commanding from the start to earn a 35-54 point lead at the half, Tobias Christensen was outstanding tallying an impressive 38 points. Ulster University battled back in the second half through Kadeem Smithen (21 points), but St Paul’s held firm to win out by 13 in the end.
IT Carlow Basketball captured a big home win over EJ Sligo All Stars on Saturday afternoon, running out 78-65 point winners in the end. A competitive first half saw the hosts narrowly behind 40-44 at the half, with Oisin O’Reilly getting some key scores for Sligo. A big push in the second half from IT Carlow saw Duane Harper put on a prolific scoring performance with 31 points. Sligo struggled to match the intensity and IT Carlow secured the win.
Fr Mathews got the better of Portlaoise Panthers, winning out 62-81 in Portlaoise on Saturday evening to go second in the league and continue their impressive form of late. Fr Mathews got off to the better start with help from Jack O’Mahony who finished the game out with 17 points. Kareem Davis put on a star performance for Panthers (24 points) but it wasn’t enough as Fr Mathews managed to keep Panthers at arm’s length in the end to earn the away win.
McGowans Tolka Rovers produced a great second half performance to earn their first win of the season, 84-95, over WIT Vikings on the road. Vikings started out stronger, with Michael Grassey leading the way scoring 32 points in the game, and they held a 10-point cushion at the half, 52-42. Big performances from Tolka’s Tim Doyle and Cillian O’Driscoll in the second half though helped Tolka Rovers get back into the game and they edged into the lead in the fourth. Paul Caffrey and Sean Moore helped Rovers create some breathing room between the two teams as the clock ticked down to see them home to their first win.
Basketball Ireland Men’s Division One:
Ulster University 81-94 Scotts Lakers St Pauls Killarney
IT Carlow Basketball 78-65 EJ Sligo All-Stars
Tradehouse Central Ballincollig 87-83 LYIT Donegal
Limerick Celtics 93-101 Limerick Sports Eagles
Portlaoise Panthers 62-81 Fr Mathews
Waterford Vikings 84-95 McGowans Tolka Rovers
Basketball Ireland Men’s Division One:
Limerick Celtics 53-69 Tipperary Knights
Swords Thunder 88-67 Fabplus North West
Portlaoise Panthers v Fabplus North West (Postponed)
Trinity Meteors 91-82 Ulster University
UL Huskies 43-46 Team Tom McCarthys St Mary’s