UCD Marian 84
A huge run in the third quarter ensured that UCD Marian ended a four game funk over a dejected Killester team on Saturday night in the Sports Centre. John Galvin dominated at both ends of the floor with 30 points and 22 rebounds but it was a balanced team performance, case with ten of the eleven players on the roster making scoring contributions, sovaldi which helped get the W.
Coach Sasa Punosevac opted to start some of the team’s second unit including 17-year-old Renatas Nedzveckas and introduce the experience of backcourt pairing Conor Meany and Daniel James as well as Kevin Foley as the opening quarter progressed. It was a change up which worked well as the team settled quicker and didn’t allow Killester to get in to any rhythm. The North Dublin team played without the ineligible Jermaine Turner and a lack of a go-to scorer was evident despite the best efforts of forward Alan Casey who had 8 first quarter points. Marian centre Galvin commanded the low post early on with 11 first quarter points and Foley injected energy off the bench to give Marian an early 23-17 first quarter lead.
The second quarter saw the continued effectiveness of Marian running their bench. Guards Cathal Finn, Conor James, Conor Meany, Matt Kelly and Barry Drumm were all elusive on offense and tough on defense against Killester backcourt Laurence (Puff) Summers and Ciaran Roe. Killester trimmed the deficit to 4 at the half with a difficult lay up from Roe in traffic to close the quarter at 37-33.
Marian outscored Killester 30-10 in the third quarter in what was undoubtedly their best quarter of basketball this season. Without a presence inside Killester couldn’t handle Galvin who cleaned up on the offensive and defensive glass allowing second chances opportunities for the likes of Conor Meany who got the hot hand with back to back 3 pointers midway through the quarter. Killester’s shot selection and turnovers were poor due to a half court defense from Marian that was at its most cohesive. Arguably Marian’s strongest line up of Conor Meany, Daniel James, Niall Meany, Kevin Foley and John Galvin created numerous mismatches on offense for Killester coach Darren O’Neill which they simply could not find the answers for. The opponents got into foul trouble with 5:05 remaining in the quarter allowing Marian to execute 10/12 times from the free throw line to make the score 67-43.
The final quarter was relatively academic in nature as Marian continued their fluidity on offense and resolute D. Galvin helped himself to 8 more points to put the game beyond doubt and despite getting into foul trouble with 2:48 left Marian coasted to victory. Conor Meany had the second highest scoring effort with 14 while Cathal Finn and Liam Conroy chipped in with 8 apiece. Alan Casey and Laurence (Puff) Summers jointly top scored for Killester with 13 apiece. Marian outrebounded Killester 54-26 and led in assists at 21-7 in a dominant display.
Sasa Punosevac’s club played their best game of the season to date and he hopes that the win it will act as a catalyst for a renewed title challenge- “It was a very important result for us to get the team back in good spirits. I am very pleased with the way we played defense, to hold them to 61 points was a great achievement but we have to forget about the game now. We play Killester again on Sunday and to win twice against them will be tough, we need complete focus on that next game.” They take their record on the season to 3-5 and as Punosevac alluded to, the team will do battle against their Clontarf rivals once more this Sunday 25th November at 3pm.