Tuesday 23 April 2019

Convincing victory May just kick-start season

Basketball: Men's Super League - Swords Thun 93 Killorglin 68

Paul Byrne

Griffith College Swords Thunder produced their best display of the season as they outclassed Keanes SuperValu Killorglin at ALSAA on Sunday afternoon.

Man of the match Elijah Mays put in a wonderful performance, contributing a massive 35 points to his side's total of 93.

Swords have been improving gradually over the past few weeks and have bounced back from back-to-back defeats at the start of the season to win three of the next four.

On paper this looked like a tough test against newly-promoted Killorglin who had lost just one of their opening four games in the Super League. Most notably they had taken the scalp of Garveys Tralee Warriors last month, so Thunder knew they would have to be on their game if they were to take the victory.

Dave Baker's side started off like a steam train and were 10 points up mid-way through the opening quarter, with Mays and Charlie Coombes causing the visitors all sorts of problems early on. That lead had stretched to 14 by the end of the first quarter ,with Thunder enjoying a useful-looking 25-11 lead.

Mays continued to enjoy plenty of the ball in the second quarter and a fine three-pointer from the big American helped stretch Thunder's lead out to 13 points once more. By the end of the second quarter Swords were in complete control, with the scoreboard reading 46-29 in the home side's favour.

Killorglin briefly threatened a comeback, with Ivan Bogdanovic scoring three baskets in succession to reduce the deficit to 11 points, but that would be as close as the visitors got as Swords went through the gears to dominate the remainder of the third quarter.

Mays in particular enjoyed a real purple patch mid-way through the third, scoring four baskets which including a three from distance.

By the end of the third quarter the match was all but over, with Baker's side enjoying a 71-49 lead.

Charlie Coombes and Oisin Kerlins opened up the final quarter with a basket apiece for the hosts to stretch their lead still further, while Mays showed he wasn't finished just yet by scoring his 30th point of an excellent performance.

With five minutes remaining Swords were 81-61 ahead and they finished out the game in style, with Mays scoring two more baskets to give him a final total of 35 points.

Ultimately, Thunder were just too fast and strong for a beleaguered Killorglin side, and when the final buzzer sounded there was more than a hint of relief on the faces of the defeated Kerry men.

Apart from Mays, Swords' top scorers were Charlie Coombes with 13 points and Oisin Kerlins who netted 10. Keanes SuperValu Killorglin's star men were Ivan Bogdanovic (18 points), Darragh Jones (13) and Pierre Newton (12).

Overall, it was an excellent performance from Swords who will hope this game can kick-start their season.

Next up for Baker's side is another away trip to UCC Demons.

Fingal Independent