Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Star coach McCotter focuses on play-off battle

By David Kelly

Belfast Star coach Neal McCotter took an expected defeat to All Ireland Premier League leaders Demons, 109-80, in Cork and looked ahead to a crunch clash with Marian which will go a long way to deciding their Top Four Play-off hopes.

Star, missing five players through a mixture of illness and injury, were simply no match for Demons whose strength in depth is second to none - hence they are the clear favourites to take the title come March.

Player-coach Colin O'Reilly, arguably the best player in the league, was to the fore once again while Kyle Hosford controlled the game with his usual poise and guile as Star dug deep to remain competitive, with American Ricky Taylor top scoring for the Belfast men on 32 points.

Star coach McCotter said: "We didn't come into this game with great expectations - even with the players we had missing it would have been a tough ask.

"The guys gave it everything and we tied with Demons in the second half which is a positive, but now we move on and look ahead to our big game away to Marian in two weeks time.

"This is a crucial game for us at a crucial time in the season.

"Along with Marian were are fighting with Templeogue for the fourth spot in the end of season play-offs and whoever wins will be in a great position.

"We should have at least three of the five missing against Demons back and that will make a huge difference.

We have worked really hard over the past three weeks before the League resumed so we'll be ready for Marian."

McCotter's men - as well as a large group of supporters - will travel down to Tallaght this Saturday to roar on Star's under-20 side as they bid to land the National Cup.

Belfast Telegraph

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