Wednesday 12 December 2018

Keenan hails Murphy efforts in Cup glory

Men's National Cup final: Templeogue 68 UCD Marian 62

Lorcan Murphy. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Lorcan Murphy. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Barry Lennon

Barry Lennon

Templeogue coach Mark Keenan praised Lorcan Murphy for powering his side to National Cup glory, saying the former Leinster schools high-jump champion has progressed "leaps and bounds".

The point guard's efforts, which saw him shoot 23 points in the tense final, saw him awarded the MVP gong in Saturday night's final.

"When UCD hit those big three-pointers twice, Lorcan responded with big baskets on the other end. I was absolutely delighted for him," said Keenan, who claimed his fifth Cup as coach.

"He has great control. When the rest of us see him making those moves it gives everybody a huge lift."

Keenan has reaped the rewards after his decision to call the 23-year-old up to the senior ranks four seasons ago, with the club collecting two Cup titles since then.

"Lorcan had come back from the States and he was looking to join the club. He went to play for a college over there, but it didn't work out," Keenan said.

"I wanted him in the senior team when I took over. Straight away I knew he had great ability, but he has just come on again since then. He's developed into one of the premier players."

An under-pressure Templeogue benefited from a free-throw awarded to them in the final minute when UCD Marian coach Ioannis Liapakis stepped on to the court on Saturday.

This allowed Grenadian veteran Michael Bonaparte to create a four-point cushion in the dying seconds, and with two vital steals he helped them secure victory. In doing so he capped a day which started with the club's U-18 Cup 72-69 triumph over Neptune.

"We all wish it (technical foul) hadn't been called because it just leaves a little sour taste over the victory," Keenan said.

"But, having said that, the referees are here to do a job and if you have got a warning earlier on in the game, you shouldn't be out on the court."

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