Team Silvers maintained their 100% record in the midland league last night with victory over I.T. Carlow. In what was the first game back after the Christmas break, the Portlaoise men eventually got into their stride in the second half, pulling away to a twenty-five point winning margin.
This was the first ever meeting between these teams and a good start by the Panthers men put I.T. Carlow on the back foot early on. Great movement of the ball was key for Portlaoise throughout and Greg Dunne was first to register a score for the home side.
He followed this up with another two baskets on the break after excellent play on the point from Rody Mc Evoy. As the game settled down Carlow were finding the Team Silvers offence too hard to handle especially with the presence of Dan Debosz and Peter Duignan under the basket. I.T. Carlow closed the gap with scores from Shane Bracken and Martin Hawley. The Panthers men ended the quarter with a five point advantage.
The second quarter was a more balanced affair as I.T. Carlow started to win the battle under the boards. Again it was big man Martin Hawley who was causing problems inside adding a further nine points to his tally. The introduction of guards David Keane and Gary Donnelly for Team Silvers brought more energy as their movement created the opportunity to score and both made I.T. pay nailing big shots from outside. John Fennelly and Greg Dunne rounded off the scoring for the home side as they took a five point lead in at half time.
Team Silvers again upped their intensity at the start of the third quarter with Anthony Dunne and John Fennelly playing some great defence which limited Carlow to just thirteen points in the ten minute period. Peter O’Sullivan was finding his range at the other end with another two accurate three point shots to push the game the lead out to fifteen points. Quick passing from guard John Fennelly opened up the heart of the Carlow defence and he took the right options time and again leading to assists or his own scores. The score going into the final quarter was 58-43 in favour of Team Silvers.
The start of the fourth saw Team Silvers work through their offences looking for the open shots every time. Excellent penetrating moves from Dan Debosz led to some fine scores which was the perfect return for the patient build up. The final minutes gave Panthers the chance to work the ball around in offence and two big three pointers from Shane O’Neill finished off his team’s scoring giving his side an impressive twenty five point win. This leaves Team Silvers unbeaten in the league but they must remain focussed with so many tricky away fixtures to come.
Team Silvers: Donal Dunne, John Fennelly, Shane O’Neill, Rody Mc Evoy, Peter O’Sullivan, Peter Duignan, Gary Donnelly, Greg Dunne, Dan Debosz, Anthony Dunne, David Keane.