Basketball Ireland Super League 

Belfast Star 84 Killester 74

It’s going to be a busy Saturday and Sunday for Adrian Fulton’s Belfast Star as they face crucial games against Dublin’s DCU Saints and Neptune of Cork in La Salle College. 

But there’s a growing air of confidence in the team as they aim to secure a Super League play-off place and they go into the DCU game on a three-game win streak after an impressive home outing against Killester last weekend.

After an injury-hit first half of the season, Star have been buoyed by the return of big man Liam Pettigrew who made a telling contribution with his presence against Killester. In addition, new US import Shon Briggs made his home debut and delivered a powerhouse rebounding display as well as a 13-point haul.

Saturday’s fixture was the first time that Star have played in front of their home crowd in almost two months. An 84-74 score line in a tight affair was enough to secure the victory for the home side who led 40-34 at half-time. 

In contrast to the previous week’s demolition of Moycullen, Star began tentatively. Max Cooper in particular was slow to find the explosive touch he showed down in Galway but if there’s one thing this Star side have it’s the ability to find scorers across the team. Conor Quinn and Jonny Foulds joined Pettigrew and Briggs in keeping Star level with the visitors in the early stages. 


A second quarter burst from Killester saw them take a seven-point lead but this was countered by a fifteen-zero run by Star that helped them to a 40-34 halftime lead.

Star stretched their lead during the third as Cooper began to dominate, hitting ten points in the process. Star took an eleven-point lead into what was an even fourth quarter and had secured the win as the final minutes played out.

Speaking after the game, Star coach Adrian Fulton said: “Obviously we are delighted with that win on our return home after seven weeks with little competitive action.

"Killester started better than us, but we made a great run in the middle of the second quarter. Both teams had players in foul trouble, and we needed big contributions off the bench which was very encouraging.

“Max had a slower start than usual, but he responded brilliantly in the second half. Conor Ryan put in another super performance against a hugely experienced Irish international opponent in Ciaran Roe. And of course Conor Quinn continues to play terifically.

"Shon Briggs, Austin Beech, and Jonny Foulds complement each other well, and it's just great to have Liam Pettigrew back after four months out.

“We are starting to build a little bit of momentum and we look like a different team than before Christmas.


"Every week in this league is a battle and next weekend will be a real challenge with an extremely difficult double-header against a much-improved DCU Saints team and an excellent Neptune team.

"We will need our fantastic supporters to continue to get behind us as they did tonight. The atmosphere was first class.”

Star’s opponents on Saturday evening in La Salle are DCU Saints who travel north on the back of a loss to Marian.

On Sunday afternoon, again in La Salle, Star host Neptune of Cork in a game that had been postponed a month ago due to the Corkmen’s pending National Cup final appearance. Neptune come into Sunday’s game following a narrow win over Maree last weekend.

Tip times at the weekend are Saturday 6.30pm for Star against DCU Saints, and 3.00pm on Sunday for the Neptune game. Top scorers against Killester were Max Cooper (21), Jonny Foulds (14) and Shon Briggs (13).