Team Silvers took the bragging rights on Saturday night after pipping their clubmates Team Coppers with just seconds remaining on the clock in a highly entertaining contest. This game was all set to go to overtime but a quick pass from Rody Mc Evoy set-up Juan Marchal who held his nerve to finish on the break to take the points.
Team Silvers got off to a perfect start with quick scores from Shane O’Neill and Rody Mc Evoy before Team Coppers registered two fine scores from Paul Leigh. Team Silvers shooting guard Peter O’Sullivan found form and space hitting three three-pointers followed by another from Juan Marchal to push the home team eleven points ahead with two minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Kevin O’Donoghue got his name on the scoresheet for the youngsters with two well taken scores to take his team into double digits. At this point it looked like the veteran Silvers outfit would run away with the game as Rody Mc Evoy and Peter O’Sullivan finished well on the break to give Team Silvers a 23-10 lead after the opening ten minutes.
Team Coppers quickly went to work on the home side’s lead early in the second quarter taking the game inside with strong play by Kevin O’Donoghue and Craig Scully, with the latter accounting for half his team’s second quarter scores. Their defence also picked up the pace with Team Silvers finding it hard to add to their lead. Another big three pointer from Juan Marchal at the end of the quarter pushed the veterans lead back out to ten points despite the big defensive effort of Jack Scully and Jamie Dooley under the boards.
With the crowd rallying behind the young Coppers side, the players responded and went on a great run straight after the break. Excellent outside shooting from Declan Kearney and Paul Leigh closed the gap to four points midway through the third. Again the Team Silvers defence were under pressure as Craig Scully crashed the boards, finishing his lay-ups and free throws to draw his team level by the end of the quarter outscoring the veterans 19-9.
The fourth quarter was an absolute thriller with both teams having to fight for every point. The sides traded scores early on with Daniel Debosz finally getting on the scoresheet after great play but this was quickly cancelled out with strong play from Kevin O’Donoghue. With minutes remaining on the clock,
Team Silvers gained the advantage as Peter O’Sullivan finished on the break which he quickly followed up with a massive three pointer to give his side a five point lead. But again the youngsters came back attacking the home defence with a three point play from Craig Scully followed by two excellent baskets by Declan Kearney.
With under a minute left Team Coppers overturned the ball with Peter O’Sullivan finishing off to give the veterans a two point lead. There was still enough time for Team Coppers to draw level and through the games top-scorer Kevin O’Donoghue they found the space needed to draw level and bring the game to overtime. But quick thinking straight after the score saw point guard Rody Mc Evoy launch the ball forward to Juan Marchal who held his cool to take the game from Team Coppers clutches. On this form one would hope that both sides will push on in the hope of making the Top 4 finals in Portlaoise where they may meet again.
Team Silvers: Paul Dooley, Rody Mc Evoy 18, Shane O’Neill 4, Juan Marchal 8, Peter O’Sullivan 18, Peter Duignan 2, Gary Donnelly 2, Greg Dunne, Daniel Debosz 4, Ger Egan 5. Coach: John Fennelly.
Team Coppers: Jack Dooley, Evan Maher, Jamie Dooley 4, Renaldas Bartusevicius, David Keane, Kevin O’Donoghue 20, Craig Scully 15, Jack Scully, Declan Kearney 8, Paul Leigh 12, Erik Kosac. Coach: Martin Conroy.