Team Left Bank63pts
Team Left Bank Kilkenny returned to winning ways on Saturday night in Tralee when they scored a relatively comfortable win over St Brendan’s, Tralee in the Southern Conference basketball legue.
The team was fired up for this one and they tore into their opponents. Julian O’Keeffe flew out of the traps, notching 11 points in the first quarter in a blitz attack on the Brendan’s defence. The home defence was at sixes and sevens during the quarter.
Dean Kavanagh controlled possession and marshalled the troops while in defence. Andy Piper and James Butler were excellent, making life very difficult for their opponents. Padraig Morrissey’s introduction also made an instant impact as the home team found it hard to cope.
It was a very satisfying end to the first period with a seven point lead and the team coasting.
Team Left Bank picked up the intensity in the second quarter, in particular Enda Roberts and Philip Brennan were hugely impressive at both ends of the floor. The man to man defence put the squeeze on Brendan’s.
Team Left Bank have a proud record of being the second best defensive team in the league. Brendan’s were finding out why as they were held to 22 points in the first half. Liam O’Shaughnessy and Brian Hogan saw some action in this quarter, and both made significant contributions.
The half-time message for Kilkenny was to keep the pressure on. This message seemed to get lost at the start of the thirrd quarter. St Brendan’s were allowed back into the game with Robert O’Sullivan and Paul McMahon doing most of the scoring.
The great work done in the first half was being undone. The momentum switched to the home team. This kind of lapse in concentration will have to be addressed to ensure progression.
A couple of blocked shots and a score from Enda Roberts and Philip Brennan got the Kilkenny team back on track at the end of a disappointing quarter.
This game should have been over and done with at this point, but now a tough fourth quarter loomed. Both teams gave 100% effort. Padraig Morrissey and James Butler kept the scoreboard ticking over while the effort of the team in defence was immense, as always.
Claw back lead
In a desperate bid to claw back the lead the Kerry team applied a full court press, which was relatively ineffective against the Kilkenny team who passed the ball well to break the press and see out the end of the game with a 10 point victory.
At this level of competition it is never easy to pick up points away from home. But Team Left Bank have been excellent on the road this year, picking up five wins from eight games. This form has the team positioned in second place in the Southern Conference with only three games to play.
The first of these games is on Saturday night in O’Loughlin Gaels, Kilkenny (7pm) against third placed Blue Demons. The Kilkenny team recorded a narrow win in Cork against this opposition at the start of the year, but Saturday night promises to be a tough, bruising encounter between the two teams desperate for that home draw in the play-off quarter-finals.
Kilkenny are hoping that the excellent support given so far this year will continue during the final push for the second place spot. Not many teams can say that they had more travelling support than home support, which was the case in Tralee at the weekend.
The club thanked everyone for their support.
Team Left Bank scorers - Julian O’Keeffe (18), James Butler (13,) Padraig Morrissey (14), Philip Brennan (8), Dean Kavanagh (2), Enda Roberts (6), Andy Piper (2), Brian Hogan, Liam O’Shaughnessy.