Belfast Telegraph

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Star are sunk by Templeogue as they sweat over Quinn injury

By David Kelly

Belfast Star were edged out 89-84 in a thrilling All Ireland Superleague contest with Templeogue and, to rub salt into their wounds, they are waiting to see the full extent of an ankle injury suffered by Conor Quinn.

After a poor performance the previous weekend, Star coach Darren O'Neill was looking for a response from his big players and credit to Frenchman Clement Kulinicz and American Ryan Oliver as they came up with 25 and 21 points, respectively.

There is no doubt that the loss of Quinn - one of Star's most consistent players throughout this campaign - was a huge blow midway through the third quarter but also down the stretch, with the game in the balance, Templeogue's experience proved decisive. The evergreen Michael Bonaparte hit two crucial baskets in his 27-point haul with a minute remaining, while in contrast Star missed clear cut opportunities.

"I just felt that again we didn't play the big moments as well as our opponents did. Again it was a match that we could have won but missed lay-ups and not converting a few open shots was the difference. Hit those baskets and the pressure would have been on Templeogue," said O'Neill, who admitted he was concerned about Quinn.

"Losing Conor was a blow, we can't deny that but at the same time every team has to deal with injuries so that's not an excuse. Conor has to go for an x-ray so we're just waiting to see how bad it is. Hopefully he'll be alright.

"It was a frustrating result because we had some very good individual performances and we are moving forward as a team but at the moment it seems we just can't get across the line."

Star must now prepare for a visit to table toppers Marian who have transformed themselves this season into a real force.

"It doesn't get any easier, this is a very intense league. We'll get back to work and go again. Every game has been competitive and I expect us to make life hard for Marian," added O'Neill.

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