TRAVELODGE Swords Thunder’s run in the men’s basketball National Cup came to an end at the Mardyke in Cork last weekend at the hands of C&S UCC Demons.
The Cork side put on a stunning display of outside shooting in the third quarter, and Ciaran O’Sullivan and Colin O’Reilly combined to hit five consecutive three-pointers without reply as the home side overturned a 12-point deficit to win out 95-70.
Swords had the brighter start through the in-form Michael Goj and some efficient inside work from Juan Torres. With Isaac Westbrooks at the tiller, the visitors led 30-20 after 10 minutes.
As Thunder’s momentum faltered in the second quarter, Demons reverted to type and pushed the tempo to find the open shooter with lethal effect. They regained parity within five minutes and Kyle Hosford found route to the basket to give them a lead they’d never relinquish. A 46-38 half time score line allowed them to tee up the shooting masterclass after the break.
Ciaran O’Sullivan spoke afterward about what it’s like to be in the zone. “You get there a couple of times a year if you’re lucky,” said the Cork man.
“Tonight I felt like anything I threw up was going to go in. I got the confidence and I got the room. Kyle Hosford and Adrian did a good job of pushing the tempo and that helped us get the open looks.”
They will go on to meet UCD Marian in the final after they saw off UL Eagles.
On the women’s side, DCU Mercy fell 71-65 to Team Montenotte Hotel in a high octane clash.
Head coach Mark Scannell had lamented the lack of a standout point scorer among his ranks in the lead-in but watched both Grainne Dwyer and Aine McKenna break through the 20-point barrier.
“The shooting of Aine McKenna saved us out there tonight,” said winning captain Claire Rockall.
“She’s been working really hard but our offence came from our defence tonight. We stepped up the intensity.”