Demons’ captain, Shane Coughlan, is presumably waking up with a well deserved hangover, having won the National Cup last night for the 6th time.
Similarly to the Women’s Final, the crowd were kept entertained by a pretty close game early on. UCD Marian’s Dan James knocked down a pair of threes to help keep rhythm in the offense. [Rumour has it that his brother, an employee of Basketball Ireland, had been sneaking James in for midnight shooting sessions, helping his brother overcome the Arena’s infamously tight rings.] However, with the ultra firepower of Coughlan, Hosford, and O’Reilly, Demons got their stuff together and went on a run in the 2nd quarter. A 10-0 run saw C&S UCC Demons lead 47-32 at half time.
The two bright sparks for UCD Marian were Barry Drumm and Neal Baynes. Coming off the bench, Drumm brought a new energy to Marian, forcing the issue and getting to the rim on a number of occasions. Baynes was in a class of his own throughout, which is reflected in his stat-line of 20 points on 8-11 shooting, along with 6 boards, 2 steals, and 3 blocked shots. However, it was Demons’ Lehmon Colbert who really was playing at another level. The big man from the USA is certainly not your typical sleek and high-flying import. He was clinical, agile, and effective in the paint. Colbert finished with 25 points and 11 rebounds, which made him the unquestionable MVP of the game.
The game was a blow out and in the final period, Coach O’Reilly gave the Demons’ supporters a chance to applaud Hosford and Coughlan for their efforts. Impressively, O’Reilly was able to lead his team in a dual role of player/coach, finishing with 13 points on 5-7 from the field, 6 assists, and 6 boards.
During another well-run event from Basketball Ireland, the crowd were treated with a number of special guests including, Ireland’s Special Olympics team and the National Cup winners from 25 years ago. Perhaps the most entertainment on the night came from three maniacs dressed in Mascot suits. We witnessed dance-offs, fights, and at one point I’m pretty sure that Demons’ Mascot was trying to ‘hump’ the UCD Marian Dog.
But, hey! This is why we love the National Cup Finals, right? Anything can happen.