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Basketball: Belfast star shoot for the top in style

By David Kelly

Belfast Star are now in a play-off spot in the Northern Conference of the Nivea Superleague, and that's where coach Darren O'Neill wants to stay.

Star left reigning Superleague champions Killester stunned with their powerful display last Saturday night, when the Belfast side won 77-74 at the UUJ Sports Centre.

Star and DCU Saints are the pace-setters in the Northern Conference, with the Dubliners producing a fine comeback to defeat Marian 106-92 at the weekend.

Keenan Browder was pivotal in the win, claiming 37 points, while Kenny Gamble hit 20 points.

At UUJ, Arnoud Dahi came up with 33 for Killester, but they couldn't handle the craft of Star's American Bobby Kelly, who hit 27.

O'Neill said: "This was the kind of performance that I always expect, and more because there were was a period in the fourth quarter when we seemed to ease off and think we had it won.

"It's a very big win when you consider the talent that Killester have. I can see why they have aspirations to win silverware," he added.

Abrakebabra Tigers secured the points over Mustang St Paul's in the all Kerry clash in Killarney, while Hoops recorded their first win of the season over league newcomers University of Ulster.

The Tigers enjoyed a 95-88 win, with Carl Hadley (26 points) and Chris Jordon (34 points) delivering for the Tralee side.

Merry Monk Ballina recorded another win, with an impressive 98-85 defeat of Neptune in Cork on Sunday.

Peter Strobl made a huge impact for Ballina with a personal tally of 33 points, while Jimmy Boston also came up with 26 points.

Limerick Lions suffered heartbreak with a one point defeat at home to Munster rivals UCC Demons.

Meanwhile, the Basketball Ireland Women's SuperLeague provided equal excitement, with DCU Mercy's perfect start to the season coming to an end at UL Aughinish on Saturday night.

Team Montenotte Hotel Cork held on to their 100 per cent start, though only just, against a dogged Meteors side in Dublin. DART Killester earned maximum points at home to Bausch & Lomb Wildcats of Waterford.

DCU Mercy and UL Aughinish produced a thrilling encounter in Limerick, with the game being decided in extra time, after the sides finished 53-53 after the four quarters.

In the end, they triumphed 59-57, with Chassidy Jones and Carmel Kissane leading the points tally for UL on 14 and 11 points respectively.

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