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Crumlin get just rewards

Crumlin captain Gary O'Toole and John De Lara's excellent play under the ring proved the turning point in a game against a much-fancied Inchicore outfit at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght.

With time running out and trailing 14-23, O'Toole stepped up to the mark getting back-to-back scores before a huge three-pointer from Darren Bowes cut the deficit to two.

A basket apiece from De Lara, who was awarded the MVP, and Simas Dobrovolskis, gave Crumlin a 27-26 advantage with a minute left on the clock.

It was the first time Crumlin had taken the lead in the clash and with the momentum firmly in their camp they held their nerve to see the game out, making up for last year's final defeat at the hands of Coláiste íde.

Inchicore had started strongly with Josh Heffernan leading the charge, scoring nine of his side's 15 points tally in between John Travers and Shane Jordan adding baskets as they dominated around the court, leading 21-10 at the interval.

After the restart it was Crumlin who were quickest out of the blocks, seemingly with nothing to lose, taking the game to Inchicore as their opponents struggled to match the high tempo of their first-half performance.

Led by O'Toole, Crumlin's confidence grew within the team and they went from strength to strength punishing their opponents with excellent offensive play in addition to stifling Inchicore's play under the ring.

Inchicore will be disappointed to have let a game they had controlled for long periods slip away but Crumlin, who refused to throw in the towel, got their just reward with additional scores from Dobrovolskis, O'Toole and Jason Hoey in a highly entertaining final.