Templeogue made history with their first ever National League victory last night in Galway with a 70-59 victory over Titans. In a close game in Renmore the youthful Dubliners displayed the heart and determination which brought them so much success at the under-age level.
Both clubs came into this game off the back losses, knowing that a victory could be very important to kick start the season. The more experienced Titans started the game on top, quickly building a 6 point lead and looking somewhat comfortable, with star man Paulius Peldzius on the board early. Templeogue looked to their star man Philip Taylor to get themselves rolling, the former Neptune man getting some early drives and rebounds to keep the youngsters in touch. At the end of the first quarter it was Titans who led by a single point, 16- 17.
In the second quarter, it was end to end early on, Alan O’Neill providing some scores from the bench for Templeogue while Sedebkis provided for Titans. However, the Galway side pulled ahead again midway through the quarter. The athletic Taofik Mustapha reeled in offensive board after board, while Peldzius continued to score well. As the quarter wound down the Titans had an eight point lead which looked like it could be growing, when defensive maestro Juan Francisco came on to man-mark Peldzius and keep him inactive for the remainder of the half. Baolach Morrison and Philip Taylor both hit buzzer beater shots to drag their club right back to touching distance, trailing by two at the half.
Despite the morale boosting finish to the first half, the Dublin team once again fell behind quickly in the third quarter. Mustapha strong on the boards, giving Titans chance after chance, while Titans perimeter players stretched Templeogue’s zone defence allowing for easy scores inside the key. With adjustments made, the game began to shift. Morrison created many turnovers with his quick hands. With a few quick scores the young guns grew in confidence and stepped up their defensive efforts. Suddenly the Titans guards looked shaky, after having been so secure in the first half Seamus Garrity looked shaken by Templeogue’s pressing zone. Offensively the visiting team began to create much easier scores through Irvine Gamede and Taylor on the break and their inside players Tomas Swiatowy and Shane Homan. Some big perimeter shots to close the quarter saw the lead change hands for the first time in the game and the Templeogue crowd making a lot of noise.
The fourth quarter belonged to Templeogue entirely, their defensive intensity the cornerstone of their success. Titans fought hard to stay in the game, Peldzius creating shots for himself and his teammates, but they could only muster eight points in the quarter and no longer dominated the rebounding statistics. The Dublin southsiders smelling blood were determined to grab every loose ball. Offensively, the perimeter threat of Taylor, Morrison and Lakes stretching the Titans defence, creating easy score after easy score inside, with Gamede and Taylor both active on the drive. As the quarter came to a close, the Galway team looked to spark a comeback with some shots, but it was to be Templeogue’s victory as the west coast club could not get on a roll. The game finished 59-70 with the young team vocal in their delight.
For Templeogue this was a monumental win, and confirms their arrival into this division. It should serve to be an important reminder that they are well in their depth at this level. Titans must continue their search for an opening league win with a trip to Donegal Town later this month. Templeogue will gain a lot of confidence from this win, and with Dublin Thunder due to visit them at the Oblates in their next game, they will need to play with the confidence displayed in the fourth quarter to upset the hot favourites.