Portlaoise Panthers picked up another victory last Tuesday night at home to Old Leighlin in their first season in the Kilkenny League.
KILKENNY LEAGUE DIVISION 1
Portlaoise Panthers 78
Old Leighlin 60
The performance was less than impressive and the scoreline suggests that the home side had things their own way but Panthers only pulled away after Old Leighlin were left with four players for the final six minutes of the game.
Portlaoise got a brilliant start to the game with Greg Dunne showing his skills both inside and outside in offence notching up eight points in the quarter. He was ably assisted from the outside by Dan Debosz who quickly found his range and form. Old Leighlin’s response and hopes lay in the hands of their athletic Lithuanian twin brothers with Armand accounting for twenty points in the first half. Panthers led after the first quarter on a scoreline of 17-8.
The second quarter was a very high scoring affair with neither defence able to contain their opposite numbers. Good patient build up play from David Glynn and Peter O’Sullivan opened up the Old Leighlin defence time and again with Craig Scully punishing the defence under the boards while Dan Debosz was on fire from the outside.
Jack Scully and David Keane worked tirelessly in defence trying to contain the threat from the top of the key. Portlaoise took a fifteen point lead in at half time but knew they were still in a game.
The third quarter saw Old Leighlin mount a comeback, limiting the home side to ten points while scoring sixteen points, most of which came from their twins on the break. Their quick aggressive defensive play caused turnovers and they finished off on the break by dunking the ball home to the crowds delight. Portlaoise remained frustrated and knew a tough final ten minutes was in store.
The start of the last quarter once again saw Old Leighlin closing the gap on Portlaoise. But their indiscipline in defence throughout had finally caught up with them as with four minutes gone in the quarter they had three players fouled out leaving them with just four players available to see out the last six minutes. Portlaoise used their extra man to great effect and eventually saw out the game by eighteen points after getting a considerable scare.
Portlaoise Panthers Team: Craig Scully, Jack Scully, Greg Dunne, Peter Duignan, David Keane, Peter O’Sullivan, Dan Debosz, David Glynn.