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Neil McCotter's rage as Belfast Star let win slip away

By David Kelly

Published 12/10/2015

Foul trouble: Keelan Cairns was penalised for dissent
Foul trouble: Keelan Cairns was penalised for dissent

He had called for greater offensive potency and got it but Belfast Star coach Neil McCotter was left gutted as a lack of discipline threw away victory on Saturday night at Methodist College.

Star went down 85-82 to new boys Eanna of Dublin, their second successive defeat on the back of the loss to Marian last weekend when McCotter's men were also in a winning position. Then, they couldn't convert a series of opportunities but on Saturday night American Shawn Vanzant came up with a game-high 32 points, while Keelan Cairns had 22 and Paddy McGaharan 11.

However, Star repeatedly got themselves into foul trouble in the second half and captain Cairns was guilty of a technical foul due to dissent - which ultimately cost his side dearly.

McCotter is now demanding that his side raise their game to make sure they come away from Limerick this Saturday night with a victory.

"Ill-discipline and some poor shooting really hurt us down the stretch - we just let the game slip away yet again," said McCotter.

"It almost feels like last season all over again when we didn't get out of the blocks and lost our first six games. We can't allow that to happen again and we have to put a few things right in training this week.

"We have the ability to beat anyone but you have to be disciplined, you can't just hand the opposition points. On the plus side, Shawn showed us what he can really do and I was very pleased to see Paddy McGaharan get into double figures.

"Now we have the Eagles of Limerick and there's no reason why we can't go and get a win this Saturday night."

Another positive for McCotter is that American Sascha Seymore is likely to be fit for the National Cup clash with Killester in three weeks time.

Meanwhile, UL Eagles claimed an unlikely 77-71 win at GCD Swords Thunder. Eagles are just one of three teams without a loss.

Marian defeated Moycullen while Templeogue overcame an understrength DCU Saints.

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