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O'Neill believes Star can shine again despite fifth defeat

By David Kelly

Defiant Belfast Star coach Darren O'Neill believes his side can re-ignite their All Ireland Superleague season over the next four games.

Unsurprisingly, Star went down 73-61 away to leaders UCD Marian but nevertheless demonstrated - even without the injured Conor Quinn - that they could easily compete with the best in the Superleague.

Star were even 27-22 ahead at the end of the first quarter and only trailed 39-31 at the end of the half thanks to a couple of later three-pointers from Conor Meaney. Having drawn the third quarter, Star then quite simply missed too many chances while the Dubliners were much more clinical.

"We've got four games coming up against Moycullen, Tralee, Kubs and Maree and we have to get wins from those. I feel that we just need that one win to get us on another good run," said O'Neill.

"The guys are not that far away. We obviously missed Conor Quinn but these are things you have to deal with and for much of the game we showed we could match Marian but overall you have to say that only scoring 61 points is very disappointing. We're not going to win too many games by scoring 61.

"We are on five defeats but the second placed team are on three defeats. There's a lot more parity between the teams in the league this season so there is an awful lot to play for.

"We clearly need to be scoring more and that's something that we will keep working hard at turning around."

One man who needs to be much more consistent is American Ryan Oliver who could only manage 12 points, while Frenchman Clement Kulinicz and Conor's twin brother Aidan both claimed 16 points.

Coach O'Neill is hopeful that Conor Quinn will be able to return to action within the next two weeks. "Conor has strained ankle ligaments which will probably keep out next week but he'll be back the following week."

Belfast Telegraph

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