Agony and ec­stasy for clubs on Cup week­end

HULA HOOPS PAT DUFFY CUP QUAR­TER-FI­NAL

The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - SPORT -

KEANES Su­per­valu Kil­lor­glin made the long jour­ney north last week­end to take on Su­per­league lead­ers Belfast Start in the quar­ter-fi­nal of the Hula Hoops Pat Duffy Cup. Kil­lor­glin went into the game on the back of a poor run of form with four losses on the trot while Belfast Star were fly­ing, with only one loss this sea­son. These teams had also met in the league the pre­vi­ous week­end, and while that was a 10-point win for Star, the game was ac­tu­ally much closer than the score line sug­gested.

Kil­lor­glin opened the game when Amer­i­can player Pierre New­ton stole the ball, and after a fast break, he fin­ished the lay-up but Thiep im­me­di­ately did the same for Belfast at the other end to draw level, and these open­ing ex­changes would set the tone for the rest of the game with noth­ing be­tween the sides. With 4:30 left in the first quar­ter, Belfast led by ten points to eight and on the restart after a time out, Kil­lor­glin drew level, again from the hands of New­ton. John­son found his range early from the three point line for Star but Kil­lor­glin stayed in touch, pri­mar­ily via strong play from Ivan Bog­danovic and Daniel Ja­co­bi­tus. At the end of the first quar­ter, there was a sin­gle point be­tween them with the score Belfast Star 16 Kil­lor­glin 15.

The start of the sec­ond quar­ter saw both teams trad­ing three point­ers with John­son for Star and Adam Donoghue for Kil­lor­glin both find­ing the net from out­side. Young Belfast su­per star CJ Ful­tan was com­ing more into the game while Bog­danovic was win­ning most of the ball un­der the boards for Keanes. With 2:27 left in the sec­ond, Kil­lor­glin were ahead by four but by the time the half ended, it was back to a one point game with the score Belfast Star 41 Kil­lor­glin 40.

The third quar­ter saw both teams go hell for leather to win the game in what was turn­ing out to be a smash­ing cup game. Mike Davis dunked the ball for Belfast to get the crowd go­ing but Bog­danovic can­celled that out with an old fash­ioned lay-up. Kil­lor­glin went a bit sloppy at this stage and a coup le of scores from Davis and Ful­tan saw Star in the lead by eleven with five min­utes left in the pe­riod. Both teams then traded scores un­til the end of the third which ended with Belfast in the lead by ten, on a score line of Belfast Star 69 Kil­lor­glin 59.

The last quar­ter was al­ways go­ing to be a tense af­fair, with a cup semi-fi­nal place on of­fer for the vic­tors of this game. Kil­lor­glin came roar­ing back into the game, with strong play and scores from Bog­danoivc and New­ton. With 6:03 left on the clock, it was back to a three point game – 74 to 71 and it was game on. How­ever, Belfast are not league lead­ers for no rea­son, and John­son nailed a huge three to set­tle them down again. Adam Donoghue was play­ing great in de­fence for Kil­lor­glin and was urg­ing his team on but with time run­ning out, it was Belfast by 6, 77-71. Bog­danovic got two bas­kets but Star re­sponded with yet an­other three, be­fore Kil­lor­glin missed two three point at­tempts. With 1:44 left, it was Stars game to lose as they were up by seven, 82 to 75, and the Game started to get away from Keanes. Mike Davis made two free throws after a foul by New­ton and time just ran out for Kil­lor­glin.

So un­for­tu­nately, that’s the end of the cup ruin for Kil­lor­glin this year but they will have to dust them­selves down quickly, as they have a mas­sive game this week­end, when they are away to DCU Saints in what is fast be­com­ing a must win game for the men from the Laune.

Tralee War­riors’ Dar­ragh O’Han­lon gets his shot away over the de­fend­ing Girts Laz­dans, UCC Demons, in their Na­tional Cup match at Tralee Sports Com­plex.

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