Belfast Telegraph

We're paying the price for lack of creative flair: O'Neill

By David Kelly

Belfast Star coach Darren O'Neill admits his side are suffering from the lack of a vital cog in their team after they went down to a surprise All Ireland Premier League home defeat at the hands of Eanna.

Having pulled off a fine victory over DCU Saints seven days earlier, Star's supporters were expecting the momentum to continue but instead after placing themselves in a winning position they went down 67-63 in MCB.

All season they have been playing without a natural point guard to cohesively drive their offence and while Paddy McGaharan has tried to fill the void, it is simply not enough at this level - though that cannot be the sole reason for only coming up with 24 points in the second half.

O'Neill said: "We were 50-40 up in the third quarter and seemed to freeze. They played a zone defence and we couldn't score from outside. It's that simple and very, very frustrating.

"This season the defence has improved but offensively we have not been good enough and I have to say that I have never been involved with a team at any level and not had a natural point guard. You need that quarterback-type player pulling the strings. Paddy McGaharan has stepped in and done a great job but his natural tendency is to go to the wing rather than the guy orchestrating the plays."

American Dillon Stith top scored with 27 points and captain Keelan Cairns hit 18 but there was little to back that up.

O'Neill added: "We have to find scores from a wider range of players, we have to keep working hard and try to put things right."

Belfast Telegraph


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