Team Coppers travelled to Clonaslee to play Tullamore and got back to winning ways with a hard fought twelve point victory. On paper the Portlaoise men would’ve hoped to have won the game more emphatically but coach Benny Donovan was happy to get the chance to rotate his squad throughout.
It took Team Coppers time to get going as they missed some very easy opportunities early on while also giving away the ball too easily which was punished by Tullamore. Portlaoise began to work the ball inside to Jack and Craig Scully who gave their side a seven point lead at the end of the quarter.
Not happy with his side’s early mistakes, coach Donovan changed it up with a mixture of height and speed. The defensive boards were owned by Alan Buckley and the Dooley brothers Jamie and Jack while the speed of Denis Curtin and Chris Higgins led to Tullamore turnovers which were well finished on the fast break. Team Coppers had pushed their lead out to sixteen points at the break.
The Panthers men will not be overly pleased with the second half display as indiscipline allowed Tullamore to close the gap in the third quarter. Team Coppers struggled to make headway in offence only managing to score eight points in the ten minute spell. Tullamore closed the gap to thirteen points at the end of the third and were feeling like they could cause an upset.
Team Coppers started the last quarter at a level above the opposition as the Scully brothers again combined inside to push out the lead. Again Tullamore didn’t give up and further indiscipline saw Tullamore punish Portlaoise from the line. Team Coppers held on to claim the victory but will not be happy with their overall team performance.
Team Coppers travelled to Old Leighlin hoping to make it two wins on the trot but a terrible second half scuppered their chances as Old Leighlin took the points. Old Leighlin has always been a tough place to come away from with victory but a great first half gave the Portlaoise men great hope of finishing out the game.
Team Coppers started off well as they ran the ball on the break at every opportunity. In defence the big men were controlling the boards while for the second game running the Scully brothers were the main threat in offence.
Excellent shooting from Evan Maher saw his team take a two point lead at the end of the first quarter. With several changes made in the second quarter Portlaoise kept up the intensity with Chris Higgins and Jack Dooley increasing energy levels. Team Coppers went in two points down at half time on a scoreline of 48-46.
The second half was disappointing for the Portlaoise men as Old Leighlin used their home court well, closing their zone up while taking every opportunity given to them in offence.
Old Leighlin took advantage of some wayward passing by Team Coppers by finishing strongly on the break to pull away to a twenty two point victory. Team Coppers will have to regroup quickly if they are to get back to winning ways as they come up against fellow club team Team Silvers on Sunday.
Team Coppers: Jack Scully, Craig Scully, David Glynn, Evan Maher, Chris Higgins, Denis Curtin, Jamie Dooley, Jack Dooley, Sean O’Neill, Neil Fennell, Alan Buckley, James Dunne, Conor Dunne, Ross McDonagh. Coach Benny Donovan.