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Basketball: Star of the Sea sent packing by Killester

Kerry star Kieran Donaghy was one of the stars St Brendan's Killarney's narrow 87-84 victory against Lisburn Phoenix as he netted 22 points
Tony McGee

STAR of the Sea tumbled out of the Hula Hoops Men’s National Cup after their “worst ever performance”, as they lost to Killester, at Clontarf, by a whopping 100 points to 51 for a two-leg total of 174 to 137.

Star took a 12 points advantage from the first leg battle in Belfast but that cushion melted away early in the first quarter as Killester tore into the game with determination and purpose. It was obvious from the tip-off that the Dubs meant business.

“This was the worst performance ever from a Star team that I can remember,” said former player coach and administrator Danny Fulton. 

“I don’t know what was the cause, but it was a poor show. I don’t know if the fact that we had a 12-point advantage from the first leg had anything to do with it.”

Coach Neil McCotter was also grappling to find the cause of the insipid display.

“I’m not going to throw any players to the wolves for the terrible show,” he said.

“We win as a team and we lose as a team. It’s the biggest defeat ever and I don’t like it to happen on my watch but I must take responsibility.

“We have got four big league games coming up before Christmas and we have two options – we can go into our shell or we can rebuild. I will be telling the players at training, this week, that they have got to dust themselves down and get on with the job they are capable of,” added McCotter.

Killester had wiped out their 12 points’ deficit within five minutes of the tip-off and proceeded to tear Star apart. Sasha Seymour made a brave effort during the second quarter, with a couple of three-pointers, to force Star back into the hunt, but the home side pressed ahead to be 49-20 clear at half-time.

The punishment for the visitors continued during the third and fourth periods, despite some good work by Paddy Mullan and Marty McDonnell, and there was no way back for Star who finished a well beaten side and out of the cup.

Bustling Jermaine Turner was the star of the winner’s show with 40 points, 22 ahead of Ciarán Roe as Patrick O’Sullivan made 10. 

Vanzant, with two early three-pointers included, top-scored for Star on 11, while Seymour and McDonnell added 10 each and Michael Jackson netted eight points.

The Senior Women’s Cup quarter-final between Ulster Rockets and Tralee, scheduled for Saturday at Methodist College, was called off by the Kerry team because of travel difficulties and will be refixed, probably for next Saturday. 

However, the Men’s Intermediate Club match between Lisburn Phoenix and St Brendan’s Killarney was played, at Methody, on Friday night.

Kerry football Allstar Kieran Donaghy was one of the stars in the visitors’ narrow 87-84 victory as he netted 22 points, just one behind the winner’s Fergal O’Sullivan. Conor McElroy top-scored for Phoenix on 16.

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