Neptune defeat NUIG Maree in close affair

C&S Neptune were able to narrowly escape the Kingfisher with another win following their 87-86 victory over NUIG Maree.

A clutch free throw from Neptune shooting guard Cian Heaphy with 30.6 seconds left in the game was the deciding factor for the Cork side in this ultra-competitive affair.

The hosts had a bright start to the game when Lovre Turdic hit a layup shot within the opening five seconds of the first quarter as NUIG Maree took a 2-0 lead.

Following a couple of misses from both teams including two free throws from NUIG Maree’s Eoin Rockall, it was Neptune power forward Miles Washington’s lay-up that got the visitors back on level terms.

Despite an end-to-end performance from both sides, it was Neptune who broke through the first quarter with six three-pointers, Washington hitting thrice beyond the arc with Downey twice and O’Reily once, to give the visitors a 21-30 lead.

The resumption of the second quarter saw the visitors extend their lead following a foul on Washington with the C&S Neptune forward making both buckets from the free throw. 21-32 to C&S Neptune.

C&S Neptune dominance in the second quarter continued as consecutive threes from Walsh saw the visitors secure a 27-42 lead at the end of the first half.

The third quarter saw a spirited display for the home side as De’Ondre Jackson turned past Nil Sabata before hitting a tough mid-range jumpshot at the amusement of the home crowd.

The home side continued their run of form with Jackson hitting a three and setting up Burke as the host cut the lead to six points.

Downey continued from where he left off hitting two consecutive threes to avoid a come-back attempt from the host.

Lucas took the game to its head scoring the team’s next 12 points including two free throws 28 seconds to the end of the third quarter to cut the lead to three points. 66-69 at the end of the third quarter.

Following misses from O’ Rouke and Walsh, the fourth quarter came to life when C&S Neptune hit two consecutive threes from Walsh and Downey to give the visitors a 66-75 lead.

 Lucas continued from where he left off in the third quarter, first hitting two free-throws, before to cut the lead to seven, before following that up with a lay-up shot clinching the sequence with a dagger three pointer to tie the game 75-75, with five minutes and twelve seconds to the end of the match, much to the uproar of the home fans.

Following Downey two consecutive threes for the visitors, Commins assist to Freeman helped the host take the lead for the first time since the start of the first quarter. 77-75.

A touchdown-like pass from Commins to Franch saw the power forward hit a lay-up shot and drawing a foul in the process which he converted to secure an 82-76 lead for the host.

The visitors hit a three-pointer through Washington to cut the lead to three.

A foul on O’ Rourke by Heaphy  saw the shooting guard hit both buckets to give the host an 84-79 lead.

A putback dunk by Washington following a missed shot by Heaphy helped cut the gap to two points, with Talradella’s dagger three point tying the game for the visitors.

A steal and subsequent lay up from Downey towards the end of the game saw the visitors race to an 86-84 lead with one minute and thirty-two seconds left in the game.

The host got back to level terms as Eoin Rockall hit two consecutive free throws to level things up.

The match looked destined for overtime until a foul on Heaphy 30.8 seconds from time gave the host the opportunity to win the game, with the shooting guard missing the first and making the second to secure an 87-86 lead for the visitors.

Speaking after the game, Charlie Crowley, head coach of the NUIG Marees had this to say.

“We were down 19 points in the second quarter, brought it back, went down again and we gave ourselves too big of a mountain to climb. Credit to the five guys who finished that game because they were the reason we got back into the game. We wanted to win all our home games, we wanted to go undefeated which we didn’t, we have to turn to Kerry for the next two weeks.”

NUIG Maree will hope to get back to winning ways when they travel to Kerry to face Killorgin on 12 February 2022.

Top Scorers:

NUIG Maree- Jerryn Lucas 26, Lovre Tvrdic 13, Luka Krajlic 10, Stephen Commins 10

C&S Neptune- Roy Downey 23, Miles Washington 19, Nil Sabata 17.

Squads:

NUIG Maree: E. O’Rourke, D. Jackson, E. Rockall, S. Commins, J, Burke, O. Holland, O. French, P. Freeman, L. Turdic, J. Lucas, L. Kraljic

Coach: C, Crowley

C&S Neptune: G. Walsh, S. Hannigan, C. Hearn, J. Hannigan, R. Downey, A. Talradellas, A. Heaphy, M. Washington, N. Sabata, C. O’Reilly.

Coach: C. O’Reily

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