Team Coppers travelled to Longford on Saturday to take on Longford Falcons in the Mens Midland League.
Mens Midland League
Team Coppers 83
Longford Falcons 92
Longford as usual had a full panel of players to choose from at home. The first quarter started at a hectic pace, Chris Higgins and Denis Curtin got Coppers on the score board and took a 6-0 lead. Longford’s number eight Ewing Herring then stepped up to nail three three-pointers in a row.
The big Lithuanian stands at 6 ft 4 and Coppers found it extremely difficult to get a block on his shots. As the quarter went on it became very evident that if Coppers were going to mount a serious challenge to the much bigger Falcons team they were going to have to run the ball at speed.
Chris Higgins and Denis Curtin gave an exhibition in stealing the ball and finishing the fast breaks. Chris Higgins ended the game with 25 points and Denis Curtin had 26 points with Falcons unable to handle the boys raw speed and fitness. The first quarter ended with Coppers leading 24 21.
The second quarter was another tight affair. Coach Benny O’Donovan made a few changes in defence and it seemed to slow down the outside threat of Herring. David Glynn, Scully brothers Jack and Craig and Jamie Dooley all got in on the scoring action in this quarter. The quarter ended with coppers trailing 52-50.
The game was being played at a hectic pace; it was basketball at its best, each team looking to run the ball at every opportunity. The crowd were enjoying every minute of the game. As the 3rd quarter got started Higgins and Curtin again kept picking Falcons pockets and finishing strong at the other end.
Craig Scully came into the game strong in this quarter, controlling the boards and taking the ball hard at the Falcons defence. Again it was Herring who Falcons looked to for their scores, finishing the game with 36 points. Coppers finished the quarter leading on a scoreline of 72-70.
As the fourth quarter started it was clear Coppers were showing some signs of fatigue and the fast breaks slowed up and the Portlaoise lads were finding it hard to get scores and ended up outscored 22 to 11 in the final quarter.
Coppers ended up losing the game 92-83 which is a tough loss to take with Longford remaining beneath Coppers in the race to the Top 4 but there were a lot of positives to take out of the game as the Panthers clubmen face an important week in the hope of securing at least fourth place.
Team Coppers: Jack Scully, Craig Scully, David Glynn, Chris Higgins, David Glynn, Denis Curtin, Conor Dunne. Coach: Benny O’Donovan.