PYROBEL Killester ground out a hard-earned 83-75 point win on the road to neighbours, DCU Saints on the opening night of the men’s Super League.
Killester welcomed Isaac Westbrooks back into the fold and he made his mark immediately, finishing the game out with 24 points.
Good performances from Farouq Raheem – who was particularly strong on the defensive end – Tomas Fernandez and Keith Anderson kept Killester’s scoring ticking over in the face of a hugely determined DCU Saints side, with Mike Bonaparte, Martins Provizors and Charlie Coombes shining brightest.
“That definitely wasn’t easy,” Killester’s Brian O’Malley reflected afterwards. “We didn’t think it was going to be easy, we came to this gym last year and they beat us.
“So we were under no illusions coming in that this was going to be an exceptionally tough game. They have some good players, that’s a deep, deep team. Martins and Bonaparte are a serious combination – an elite combo – and any team with those two guys is going to be exceptionally difficult.
“It was challenging there at times; we probably got a little bit of control in the middle of the third and went up by maybe 15 or so, and testament to the DCU lads, they rallied back into it and it was maybe four or five points coming down the stretch. We’re happy to get out of here, there’s lots to work on.”
The other Dublin derby saw the battle of the newcomers as Abbey Seals Dublin Lions hosted DBS Éanna in Clondalkin.
A massive first quarter from the visitors set the tone for the game, as they took an early 9-26 lead into the second to see Lions on the back foot from early on. Stand out performances from Éanna’s Stefan Zecevic, Daniel Heaney and Neil Lynch kept the scores raining in and, despite a good rally from Lions down the stretch, the damage had been done and Éanna took the win, 54-76 in the end.
Speaking afterwards, head coach Darren McGovern stated: “We are delighted to get out of there with a win after a long off-season.
“We brought in Marko Tomic, Paris Ballinger and Mark Reynolds, and they all contributed heavily on both ends of the floor. Tonight was all about our defence – it was top class. If we can find this form every week, we will be tough to play. Dan Heaney hit some huge threes and I was delighted to see Josh and Stefan back together.
“Wins in the Super League are going to be tough to come by, so getting one on the board early is a delight.”