Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Star stride towards semi-finals

By David Kelly

Belfast Star have placed themselves on the cusp of a place in the All Ireland National Cup semi-finals after a stunning 83-73 victory over Swords at MCB yesterday.

Star won the first leg of this quarter-final with their best performance of the season, a display of intelligence and intensity that stood in stark contrast to the last time they were at home when the Belfast men hit rock bottom with a brutal loss to Killester.

That will now give them hope of progressing with the second leg to be played on December 6.

Assistant coach Danny Fulton, standing in for Neal McCotter who was away on business, was delighted with the win which has Star dreaming of a last four place for the first time in a decade. American Ricky Taylor top scored on 28 points, while Conor Quinn had 25 and Keelan Cairns 14.

Fulton said: "It's the first time that we have had over 80 points and we played a lot smarter. We made better shot selections, we drew fouls where we hadn't been doing before and shot our free throws.

"Defensively we played really well as a team, the work around the boards and the Quinn lads, Conor and Adrian, did a great job on Isaac Westbrookes who basically runs the show for Swords. We stayed on top of him and he only managed to get 12 points - last week he had 25.

"I'm very pleased for all the lads because they have worked hard, they knew they had to step up their level and they've done it. Nobody gave us a chance before this match, they were talking about how much we would lose by and now go into the second leg with a 10-point lead."

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