Con­vinc­ing vic­tory May just kick-start sea­son

Fingal Independent - - SPORT - PAUL BYRNE

GRIF­FITH Col­lege Swords Thun­der pro­duced their best dis­play of the sea­son as they out­classed Keanes Su­pervalu Kil­lor­glin at AL­SAA on Sun­day af­ter­noon.

Man of the match Eli­jah Mays put in a won­der­ful per­for­mance, con­tribut­ing a mas­sive 35 points to his side’s to­tal of 93.

Swords have been im­prov­ing grad­u­ally over the past few weeks and have bounced back from back-to-back de­feats at the start of the sea­son to win three of the next four.

On pa­per this looked like a tough test against newly-pro­moted Kil­lor­glin who had lost just one of their open­ing four games in the Su­per League. Most no­tably they had taken the scalp of Gar­veys Tralee War­riors last month, so Thun­der knew they would have to be on their game if they were to take the vic­tory.

Dave Baker’s side started off like a steam train and were 10 points up mid-way through the open­ing quar­ter, with Mays and Char­lie Coombes caus­ing the vis­i­tors all sorts of prob­lems early on. That lead had stretched to 14 by the end of the first quar­ter ,with Thun­der en­joy­ing a use­ful-look­ing 25-11 lead.

Mays con­tin­ued to en­joy plenty of the ball in the sec­ond quar­ter and a fine three-pointer from the big Amer­i­can helped stretch Thun­der’s lead out to 13 points once more. By the end of the sec­ond quar­ter Swords were in com­plete con­trol, with the score­board read­ing 46-29 in the home side’s favour.

Kil­lor­glin briefly threat­ened a come­back, with Ivan Bog­danovic scor­ing three baskets in suc­ces­sion to re­duce the deficit to 11 points, but that would be as close as the vis­i­tors got as Swords went through the gears to dom­i­nate the re­main­der of the third quar­ter.

Mays in par­tic­u­lar en­joyed a real pur­ple patch mid-way through the third, scor­ing four baskets which in­clud­ing a three from dis­tance.

By the end of the third quar­ter the match was all but over, with Baker’s side en­joy­ing a 71-49 lead.

Char­lie Coombes and Oisin Ker­lins opened up the fi­nal quar­ter with a bas­ket apiece for the hosts to stretch their lead still fur­ther, while Mays showed he wasn’t fin­ished just yet by scor­ing his 30th point of an ex­cel­lent per­for­mance.

With five min­utes re­main­ing Swords were 81-61 ahead and they fin­ished out the game in style, with Mays scor­ing two more baskets to give him a fi­nal to­tal of 35 points.

Ul­ti­mately, Thun­der were just too fast and strong for a be­lea­guered Kil­lor­glin side, and when the fi­nal buzzer sounded there was more than a hint of re­lief on the faces of the de­feated Kerry men.

Apart from Mays, Swords’ top scor­ers were Char­lie Coombes with 13 points and Oisin Ker­lins who net­ted 10. Keanes Su­pervalu Kil­lor­glin’s star men were Ivan Bog­danovic (18 points), Dar­ragh Jones (13) and Pierre New­ton (12).

Over­all, it was an ex­cel­lent per­for­mance from Swords who will hope this game can kick-start their sea­son.

Next up for Baker’s side is an­other away trip to UCC Demons.

Char­lie Coombes made a big im­pact in Swords Thun­der’s vic­tory over new­lypro­moted Kil­lor­glin. Picture: Bren­dan Mo­ran/ Sportsfile

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