St. Brendan’s Tralee made their status count as the only Kerry team taking part in the Hula Hoops National Cup Finals weekend with a 78-60 win over BC Leixlip Nemumas in the Men’s Intermediate Club Championships Finals.
Nemumas threatened to spoil the party coming down the stretch before back-to-back-to-back triples from Darren O’Sullivan sealed the win.
Kestutis Damulevicius and Romas Eidukas were shooting from outside at 43% as Leixlip raced into a 17-7 lead. Valdas Grabauskas dominated with some early blocks but the introduction Ireland U20 squad member Mike O’Donnell gave St. Brendan’s the impetus and Kieran Donaghy finished the quarter with eight points and eight rebounds.
St. Brendan’s fired up in the second quarter. Substitute Jason Quirke connected with a fine three-pointer and Paul McMahon chipped in on a 9-2 run. Fergal O’Sullivan’s three-pointer put nine points between the side and St. Brendan’s were in possession with 14 seconds left before a costly turnover prevented them from taking a double-digit lead into half time.
Marius Kasperavicius finally got his feet set at the perimeter but Nemunas’ accuracy fell back to 27% and a they butchered a four-on-two situation to gain a real foothold in the game. In the ensuing fall out, O’Suullian had time to plant his feet and drain a baseline three pointer. He was fouled on his next attempt but poured in all three free-throws for a 46-33 lead.
The long arms of Andrius Lekavicius were crucial in Nemunas making it a two-possession game before Darren O’Sullivan proved a force of nature with 63% three-point accuracy. There was also time for Kieran Donaghy to wrap up a rare triple-double. The dual star finished with an incredible 18 points, 26 rebounds and 12 assists.
St. Brendan’s Tralee: Fergal O’Sullivan 14, Darren O’Sullivan 21, Paul McMahon 10, Conor Donaghy, Kieran Donaghy 18. Substitutes: Nathan Roche 2, Jason Quirke 5, Stephen Hanifan, Rob Mulcahy 2, Mike O’Donnell, Kasper Buitydas, Cyril Wallace
BC Leixlip Nemunas: Daluis Tomosauskis, Andrius Urnikis 4, Eugenijus Pocius, Andrius Lekavicius 7, Andrejus Karcikas 7. Substitutes: Valdas Grabauskas 2, Martynas Kuncaitis, Kestutis Damulevicius 12, Romas Eidukas 19, Rimantas Smitas, Martynas Bickus, Marius Kasperavicius 9.
MVP: Kieran Donaghy