Team Coppers secured a place in the semi-finals of the Midlands Cup on Sunday after a superb first half performance in front of a great home crowd. This potentially sets up another clash between the two Panthers club sides with all eyes awaiting the semi-final draw.
A blistering start from Team Coppers got them a big lead they were never to surrender. Lay-ups from David Keane and Jack Scully followed by three pointers from Kevin Donoghue and David Keane put them in a great position early on.
Indiscipline in defence by the Tullamore players saw Team Coppers hit eight free throws in a row with the quarter finished off with Denis Curtin cutting open the defence to score two excellent baskets. Team Coppers took an eighteen point lead after the first quarter.
Team Coppers moved up another gear in the second quarter, owning their own boards while causing havoc inside the key in offence. Captain Jack Scully began to dominate in offence, ably assisted by brother Craig and Kevin Donoghue.
At the other end the home sides defence was holding strong with Jack and Jamie Dooley clearing the boards. The Portlaoise side to a massive thirty point lead in at half time on a scoreline of 48-18.
The second half was extremely entertaining with Tullamore finally finding their range in offence shooting eight three pointers in twenty minutes. Team Coppers never looked phased at any stage and kept notching up the scores in reply to the Tullamore onslaught.
Controlled play at the point from David Glynn and Evan Maher settled the Portlaoise offence allowing them to play the game at their own pace.
Early final quarter baskets from Erik Kosac and Jamie Dooley kept Team Coppers lead above twenty points which they were to keep for the remainder of the quarter. Both sides traded baskets with Mareks Matulis hitting the mark for Tullamore with Jack Scully finishing the game out with a fine basket to give his side a twenty-two point win.
Team Coppers: Aaron Brady 4, Evan Maher, Jamie Dooley 8, Jack Dooley 4, David Keane 5, Kevin Donoghue 19, Craig Scully 5, Jack Scully 16, David Glynn 3, Paul Leigh 11, Erik Kosac 2, Denis Curtin 8. Coach: Martin Conroy.