Belfast Telegraph

Neal McCotter's men throw away lead

Basketball

By David Kelly

Belfast Star coach Neal McCotter was left fuming as his side threw away a comfortable lead in their opening game of the All Ireland Premier league away to Marian in Dublin, going down 65-58.

Star were given an initial boost when they arrived in Dublin to the news that Marian would be starting without an American. With classy American Shawn Vanzant starting for the Belfast men they forged a 13-point lead with eight minutes remaining - and then the wheels came off.

McCotter was a frustrated figure as he watched former Star man Dustin Moreira finish top scorer for the Dubliners, the Spaniard leading the fightback with his 27 points.

"It seems that we have gained a reputation for being soft and unfortunately we played up to that in the final quarter on Saturday night when we let the game just slip away," said McCotter. McCotter also had some tough words for the officials. He said: "The refereeing was just awful - for both sides.

"The inconsistency of the Irish officials is so frustrating - it just follows on from last year."

UCC Demons saw their 27-game winning streak come to an end as Templeogue defeated the reigning champions 97-87.

Meanwhile, the Ulster Rockets enjoyed a perfect return to national basketball when they defeated Oblate 70-62 in Dublin in the women's All Ireland first division.

Coach Breda Dick was "delighted" with the win, which saw Nicola Rafferty and Aisling Murray top score on 17 points, while Helena O'Dornan had 10 points.

Belfast Telegraph

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