Irish Basketball Super League
Éanna 75-67 Belfast Star
Belfast Star’s bid for a tilt at the Super League title came off the rails somewhat in Dublin last week when a total loss of composure against Éanna saw them slip down the table to third place overall and fall to second in the Northern Conference.
For large parts of Friday’s Super League clash, however, Star looked like a well-oiled machine, and they led comfortably enough throughout until they inexplicably fell apart despite taking a big 61-46 lead into the fourth.
The Éanna victory will now enhance their status as outside contenders for this season’s Super League title, especially if the can get all their squad fit and well.
Star held a 15-point lead going into that calamitous fourth and looked odds-on to nail their second win of the season over Darren McGovern’s side.
Indeed, up until that point, head coach Adrian Fulton would have been very happy with his side’s performance, especially with the showing of Californian Shon Briggs who again was on top form on his way to a 24-point haul.
Big wins for @UGMareeBball @eannabasketball in the @InsureMyVan_ie Super League, who moved to 9-2 records🏀@trinity_meteors & @dcumercy pick up wins in the @missquoteie Super League ahead of next week's @Insuremyhouseie National Cup semi-finals— Basketball Ireland (@BballIrl) January 1, 2023
Wrap🗞️➡️ https://t.co/vOeiPZyzt5 pic.twitter.com/2aSDIRsxGs
But Éanna, despite many injury concerns, have a growing belief and their defence played a blinder in the final 10 minutes to hold Star to just six points in the entire quarter.
That was the signal for their offence to suddenly wake up as well and they hit a staggering 29 points in a blitz that had their supporters shaking their heads in disbelief at the scale of the comeback.
The win is an obvious disappointment for Star who have been showing a tendency to have one big bad quarter per game. This time it caught up with them badly.
They now have two weeks before their next game – time enough perhaps to iron out inconsistencies and keep their momentum going throughout.
Top scorers for Star were Shon Briggs on 24, with Max Cooper and Max Richardson hitting 12 apiece.