Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

Second-half collapse leaves Star coach O'Neill baffled

By David Kelly

Coach Darren O'Neill admitted he was utterly "baffled" by his side's second half collapse at the hands of an Isaac Westbrooks-inspired Swords Thunder on Saturday night.

Westbrooks has long been a sparkling diamond in the All Ireland Superleague and he demonstrated once again why he remains one of the few players who can truly turn the fortunes of a match his side's way.

At half-time in MCB, the sides were locked on 42 after an entertaining opening period but then Swords moved up a level and Star left their shooting prowess in the dressing room, going down 80-58.

Star finished with a stat of one three-pointer from 20 attempts which offers clear evidence of their of their profligacy in front of the basket, while in the second half both sides had 23 attempts with obviously very different outcomes.

Star, nevertheless, remain in with a great chance of making the end of season top six championship knockout competition, so Star coach O'Neill says he simply wants to focus on the remaining seven matches rather than dwell on Saturday's loss.

"It was one of those games that is just hard to understand, I'm baffled by the second half because after the first half I thought it was actually harsh on us that we were not ahead at the break," said O'Neill.

"We came out in the second half and were very flat, we just couldn't convert and credit to Swords because they came out with a greater intensity and we couldn't match that - and Isaac Westbrooks was excellent.

"We have to forget it and move on because we have a big game at Killester this weekend."

Belfast Telegraph

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