Belfast Telegraph

O'Neill insists that his Star men can deliver an upset

By David Kelly

Belfast Star face an acid test tonight when they entertain unbeaten Templeogue at MCB (tip-off 7.00pm) in the All Ireland Premier League. After a winning start to their campaign, Star have suffered a series of defeats while their Dublin opponents are looking like strong Premier League title contenders. But Star coach Darren O'Neill insists that it is not mission impossible for the Belfast men.

"It's another very tough game for us after the loss last week to Swords but it's not mission impossible.

"If we can produce our best and get a score that we can realistically defend then we can win the game," said O'Neill, who has been delighted with the way in which American Dillon Stith has hit the ground running.

"With Dillon in our squad now we have real firepower and he has also allowed Keelan Cairns to provide more for us but we need more than just two people in double figures so that we can compete with the very best.

"We need other players to step up and deliver and I know they can. The key is bringing the right approach to the court, the right mental attitude and I believe the players will do that.

"To a large extent we can write off last week's result because the simple fact is that Swords with their strong foreign contingent just had too much depth.

"Templeogue also have some good foreign players though not as many but overall they are very strong and in Jason Killeen they have a player who seems to bring success wherever he goes. The guy is 6ft 10 and it's just like having another American.

"But in saying all that, we'll have out game plan and if we can start fast and maintain a high tempo then we can rattle them," he added.

Crucially for Star, Paddy McGaharan will be refreshed and ready to go. McGaharan was only back from a trip to the States last weekend and it showed as he failed to deliver the kind of performance which has had many viewing him as one of the most improved players in the league.

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