Belfast Star fall short on big occasion
Belfast Star were left bitterly disappointed after going down 70-60 to Moycullen in the under-20 Irish Cup final at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght.
Success for the Belfast men was dependent on top performances from Superleague lads Conor and Aiden Quinn but Star's head coach Adrian Fulton revealed that neither were 100 per cent for the decider.
Seeking to win the trophy for the first time in their history, Star's hopes faded when Aiden Quinn fouled out with five minutes remaining and down the stretch a little fatigue also seemed to effect the Belfast men.
Coach Fulton said: "Conor Quinn hadn't been able to train for two weeks prior to the final due to a hamstring injury and Aiden wasn't fully fit either and the fact is we needed both of them to be firing on all cylinders.
"Overall we never had enough time with each other due to a combination of some players working with their school team and others like Aiden, Conor and Liam Pettigrew being with the All Ireland League team.
"Moycullen played very well and we were not at our best, they deserved to win. It was never a 10-point game, it was always a two or three-possession game."
In a game which took until the second half to come to life, Stephen O'Brien was Moycullen's key player, with his long range shooting proving vital in the Galway's side's victory.
"There's good steel in these boys," said Moycullen coach Nollaig Cunningham.
"We knew Star were good. The lads have played against them in schools and club. The pressure defence tired them out so we could knock down the shots in the end. That's how it works."
Demons proved too strong for UCD Marian in an entertaining All-Ireland national Cup final, winning 91-65 at a sold-out National Basketball Arena, handing Shane Coughlan the chance to lift the trophy as captain for a record sixth time.