Belfast Telegraph

O'Neill upbeat over Star's progression

 

By David Kelly

Belfast Star coach Darren O'Neill says his side "have moved forward" after finishing just a place outside of the end of season play-offs.

Star finished their All Ireland Superleague campaign with a 74-58 defeat away to Tralee, which saw Conor Quinn return from injury and then end up in hospital with a broken elbow, while his brother Sean also suffered a dislocated shoulder and travelled from the arena in the same ambulance.

It was another performance that left coach O'Neill bamboozled as Star led 43-31 at half-time before capitulating in the third quarter.

"In many ways this match was a microcosm of our season. We have been in so many matches when we have looked great, hammered teams for a period of time and then just let slip away so it has been very frustrating in many ways," said O'Neill.

"There have been too many Jekyll and Hyde performances but overall I feel that as a side we have moved forward, we have shown a better mentality and there is something to build on for next season.

"It's obvious that in this league now you have to fight fire with fire. Tralee, for example, have two Spanish players and a guy from Slovenia while most of the other teams have many foreign players.

"We've had some issues this year that we've had to deal with injuries and players leaving but I don't like to make excuses and there are still positives to be taken."

Star's play-off hopes were also heavily dented by the terrible performances of American DeAngelo Grier, who had replaced Ryan Oliver midway through the season.

Belfast Telegraph

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