SCOTTS LAKERS claimed their biggest result of the season with a superb six-point win over Fr Mathews in the quarter final of the President’s Cup at Coláiste Chríost Rí, Cork on Sunday, Fr Mathews, Cork 86, Scotts Lakers St Paul’s Killarney 92.
It was win achieved against all the odds considering that the Cork side had a comfortable win over the Lakers in the league the previous week and also due to the fact that the Killarney side were without three key players for the cup tie.
Coach Cormac O’Donoghue had to plan without the influential Mark Greene, who was ruled out through injury while Mihail Kapitanov picked up an injury in the league match last week and has returned to Bulgaria. Scotts Lakers were also without big Padraig Lucey due to football commitments.
Despite these setbacks, the Killarney side took the game to Fr Mathews from the start and subsequently gained control from an early stage and never looked back. Antuan Bootle was having one of his better games and with Dan Griffin and Andrew Fitzgerald also doing well, Scotts Lakers were 19-12 ahead at the end of the first quarter.
Team captain Philip O’Connor was outstanding in the point guard role while Justin Tuason and Cian Clernon also impressed and the Killarney side stayed in front to lead 40-34 at half-time.
The Lakers continued to dominate leading 46-38 at an early stage in the second half before enjoying a commanding 15-point lead, 82-67 with 1.37 left in the third quarter.
Fr Mathews had a late rally in the final quarter with American Marcus Thomas making the big scores as the gap was cut to five points entering the final two minutes. Veteran Shane Horgan was a calming influence for the Killarney side as he nailed seven free throws to keep the Lakers in front.
It was a superb all-round team performance from Cormac O’Donoghue’s side with five players on double scoring figures. It was also a game that young players Paul Clarke and Mark O’Shea played a prominent role.
Scotts Lakers now go forward to play Ballincollig in the cup semi-final while Killorglin face Neptune in the other semi-final. These games will take place at the Neptune Stadium Cork in early January.
Scotts Lakers St Paul’s Killarney: Antuan Bootle 23, Dan Griffin 20,
Andrew Fitzgerald 13, Philip O’Connor 13, Justin Tuason 10, Shane
Horgan 7, Cian Clernon 6, Mark O’Shea, Paul Clarke, Billy Wiseman.
Fr Mathews: Marcus Thomas 29, Mike McGinn 18, Cillian Fahy 11
Above: Philip O’Connor, Scotts Lakers, is grounded as teammates Dan Griffin, Antuan Bootle and Andrew Fitzgerald challenge Paul O’Driscoll, Fr Mathews in the quarter final of the President’s Cup at Coláiste Chríost Rí, Cork on Sunday. Pic: Pat Connolly