National League

Templeogue defeat Titans in First Ever National League Win

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.

This season Templeogue National League Team

This seasons Templeogue National League Team

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.

Baolach Morrison of Templeogue going up against the Elks Marty McDonald

Baolach Morrison of Templeogue going up against the Elks’ Marty McDonald

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.

Irish National League Tips Off

UU Elks and Templeogue, two new teams in this years National League

UU Elks and Templeogue, two new teams in this years National League

National League basketball is back! After a long summer away from the court teams got a chance to lay down a marker for the year ahead on Saturday night.

There are four teams entering the second tier of Irish basketball who played elsewhere last season. Donegal Town, Cork’s Fr. Matthews, Ulster Elks and youngsters Templeogue are the welcomed parties and were all in action on Saturday night.

Our feature game this weekend focuses on two of the newcomers. The Oblate Hall in Inchicore hosted a contest between Templeogue and Ulster Elks.

Despite the club being founded in 1976 Saturday was the first ever National League game in Templeogues history. The club has had massive success at underage level in recent years, winning the u18 All-Ireland Cup two years in a row. Indeed this team has seven players under the age of 20. Talking with team manager Eamonn Fagan before the game he emphasized the importance of continually challenging these young players. He has high hopes for this team and expects them to learn and grow from the step up this year.

Ulster Elks on the other hand have a far more experienced side. Elks ended their stint in the Nivea For Men’s SuperLeague at the end of the 2010-11 season. They will be one of the teams to beat this season.

This Ulster experience was evident early in the game as they shot out to a quick lead. The sense of occasion seemed to get to the young Dubliners and they struggled to score against the more physically imposing Northerners. The Elks were able to force turnovers and run their fast break offense, giving them a 27-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Templeogue, one of the youngest teams in the National League this year.

Templeogue, one of the youngest teams in the National League this year.

The second quarter played out in much the same manner. Ulster’s ball movement stretched Templeogues zone defence, allowing them to find open shooters. Marty McDonald punished the Dublin side at every opportunity, connecting on four 3-point shots; helping Elks to a 47-22 half-time lead.

However Templeogue woke up in the third quarter. Active ball pressure from Baolach Morrisson and Irvin Gamede forced Ulster into mistakes and turnovers. Meanwhile the strong midrange game of Paddy McGaharan kept the scoreboard ticking over for Elks. The pace of the game picked up near the end of the third quarter, which began to suit the game of the younger team.

Templeogue used their speed and active hands to do what Elks did to them in the first quarter; forcing turnovers and turning them into lay-ups at the other end of the floor. A series of quick scores from Tomas Swiatowy followed by a lay-up from Morrisson cut what was a 28 point lead to just 11 with 2:46 left on the clock. With a rabid crowd now behind them the young Dubliners may have pushed on. But experience told and despite losing the final quarter 20-10 the Elks closed out the win.

The final score in Inchicore was 78-64 and both teams can take a lot from the game. Ulster exhibited terrific ball movement and strong defence close to the basket. Templeogue will take heart from their second half performance. They showed that their running game can be as strong as any other team in this league and that they won’t be pushed around as the new kids on the block.

Check back soon for video highlights from the first weekend of National League action!

Saturday Night Results:

Templeogue  64  (Taylor 16, Homan 9, Swiatowy 9)

Ulster Elks  78  (McGaharan 22, McDonald 22, Johnson 18)


Donegal Town  58  (Muldoon 13, Muldoon 13, Timoney 13)

Dublin Thunder  103  (Goj 35, Jankech 16, McGovern 15)


Fr Matthews  45  (O’Callaghan 11, Brusecus 11, Vucen 8)

Maree  62  (Hansberry 18, Brophy 10, O’Hagan 10)


Left Bank Kilkenny  50  (Walsh 12, Brennan 12, O’Keefe)

Blue Demons  63  (McCarty 21, Hosford 14, O’Halloran 11)


Team Garveys St Marys  79  (Fitzgerald 20, Wall 17, Griffin 10)

MOF Chemist Titans  61  (Fabriciuss 15, Peldzius 15, Sedebskis 9)