Monday 18 December 2017

O'Reilly inspires Demons as fightback seals place in decider

C&S UCC Demons 87 Killester 86

Michael Bonaparte, Killester, and Niall O'Reilly, C&S UCC Demons, contest a loose ball
Michael Bonaparte, Killester, and Niall O'Reilly, C&S UCC Demons, contest a loose ball

C&S UCC Demons won a thrilling overtime clash in Cork's Neptune Stadium, beating Killester by a single point.

An inspired effort from Demons player/coach Colin O'Reilly was the only thing that kept this a contest in the first half as Killester shot out of the blocks.

Their even spread of scoring was in contrast to the O'Reilly-dependent Demons as he bagged 19 first-half points, while Killester found consistent scorers in Isaac Westbrooks, John Behan, Michael Bonaparte and others.

A Demons comeback came quickly in the second half. A steal and break-away dunk by Kyle Hosford with seconds left in the third closed the gap to six points.

Killester weathered the storm and increased their lead to 15 points entering the fourth quarter, when things went from bad to worse for Demons as O'Reilly picked up a fifth foul, ending his night with over eight minutes on the clock and trailing still by 15.

In an odd twist, O'Reilly's exit seemed to inspire his troops as Demons fought back to force overtime.

A thrilling overtime saw both teams land what may have been killer blows against lesser sides but neither was willing to wilt. With 26 seconds left, the game was still undecided, Demons in front by three and Killester with possession.

Killester failed to capitalise and Behan, who had been excellent all night, missed an easy two-pointer, allowing Demons to clinch the win. The men's final will take place on January 24 in the National Basketball Arena.

Irish Independent

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