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Fulton confident Star will rise again and show attacking power

 

Delaney Blaylock
Delaney Blaylock
David Kelly

By David Kelly

Belfast Star coach Adrian Fulton believes his side can gain some fresh momentum and show their title credentials in their back-to-back All Ireland Super League home games against Maree and Moycullen.

Fulton was left frustrated by an 81-73 defeat away to Killester on Saturday night, which saw American Delaney Blaylock only on court for a stop-start 20 minutes due to being in foul trouble early in the first half, while Serbian DJ Stankovic failed to sparkle.

In contrast, Fulton's son CJ has hit the ground the running this season, chipping in with 17 points from only 10 shots while also running the offence with clinical efficiency.

Indeed, his prowess helped drive into a first quarter 21-17 lead and at the break Star were just ahead 36-34 but the absence of Blaylock for long periods clearly hurt the Belfast men who now look ahead to this Saturday's clash with Maree.

"Having Delaney in foul trouble was very hard on the boys and I have to say that two of the calls against him were awful. We had to rest him a lot in the first half and then early in the third quarter he picked up another foul," said Fulton.

"But I also felt our selection could have been improved. There were too many times when we needed someone to make an extra pass rather than trying to force the offence and that cost us as well.

"That's partly down to the fact that we are still finding our feet as a unit.

"So we now have two home games against Maree and Moycullen and these are games in which we can really start to gel and gain momentum.

"Saturday night was one that got away from us. We haven't won away to Killester in a while and that was a real chance despite Delaney's foul trouble."

On a positive note, Fulton will have been pleased once again with the performance of Liam Pettigrew who looks as if he could be on course for his best season in a Star shirt, while Aidan Quinn - back from a year off due to injury - also sparked for the Belfast men along with young Adam Ryan.

Meanwhile, DBS Eanna continued their surprisingly perfect start to the season with an 87-70 point win over reigning league champions Tralee Warriors.

The win sees the newly-promoted side as one of just two unbeaten teams left in the league after three weeks.

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