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McDonald's class shines through in Belfast Star defeat

By David Kelly

Published 09/11/2015

Neal McCotter

Marty McDonald gave Belfast Star coach Neal McCotter something positive to take from a 105-83 defeat at the hands of All Ireland Premier League title favourites Demons.

Star were competitive throughout the encounter at Methodist College but the Cork men always looked to have victory within their grasp from the second quarter onwards.

McCotter knew his men were underdogs in the Tayto-sponsored match but was keen to see an encouraging performance ahead of the first leg of their National Cup quarter-final this Saturday and McDonald was one of those who delivered despite the loss.

McDonald, who had 11 points, has stepped up from the Ulster Premier League, where he played for the Ulster Elks, and while it has taken time for him to get used to the higher level, McCotter feels he is now truly finding his feet.

"I thought Marty looked much more comfortable and he was against some of the best players in the country. He was aggressive, he was trying to make things happen and he can have a big role to play," said McCotter.

"Marty played under-age international basketball so his talent has always been there and now he is starting to prove himself.

"I thought there were encouraging signs but at the same time we need to work on our discipline because there was a bit too much back-chatting at the referees.

"Even I was probably going a bit too strong at the officials but it was because there was just too much inconsistency in their calls.

"That's not why we lost the match, Demons were so clinical in their finishing. That's why they are the favourites to win the title."

In the women's Division One, the Ulster Rockets defeated the previously unbeaten NUIG Mystics 83-58 at MCB.

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