Belfast Telegraph

McGaharan the brightest Star in Belfast triumph


By David Kelly

Belfast Star coach Darren O'Neill hailed his side after they blew the Superleague title race wide open with a stunning upset 92-81 victory at home to table toppers Marian.

Lying seventh in the Superleague, Star were obvious underdogs but came up with their best performance of the season. Keelan Cairns hit 23 points, with Paddy McGaharan finishing on 17.

"We had six people on double figures and this season we have struggled at times to have even two in double figures. In our last two games we destroyed Demons and Templeogue in the first half and then tightened up in the second half but this time we had the confidence to persevere," said O'Neill, whose side are out of the top six play-off slots.

"I told the Marian coach beforehand that they were going to be hard to beat and for the integrity of the league we would be playing as hard as ever and that's what we did.

"Overall it has been a hot and cold season but now if we can finish with another two good wins then maybe we are starting to see the real Star.

"We have certainly been playing more like a team the last few games, the chemistry is good and against Marian we had good performances from Keelan, Paddy and Dominic Lynn was also impressive. He's just 19 but has a great attitude."

Star controlled the game from the off, taking a 22-7 point lead early in the first, and holding on to lead 45-38 by half time. A huge third quarter performance from UCD Marian saw the gap close to just six points at 66-60 by the end of the third.

But then McGaharan and Cairns stepped up and drove Star to victory.

Belfast Telegraph

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