Team Left Bank 67pts
The Basketball League tables make decent reading this week with Team Left Bank Kilkenny sitting second in the Southern Conference behind St Mary’s of Castleisland, and joint third in the overall cross conference standings along with Maree of Galway.
The Conference system works in such a way that each team in the South plays teams in their own section at home and away, and each team in the North section either home or away. The winners of each Conference qualify for the semi-finals direct while the second and third placed teams in each section play each other in quarter-finals.
Next up for Team Left Bank Kilkenny are Maree, Galway on Saturday in the O’Loughlin Gaels GAA ccentre (7pm), which promises to be a cracker.
When the fixtures were sent out in early September, two games away from home in Cork looked very daunting for Team Left Bank. They posed a challenge for management and players. The two games have been played and six valuable points are in the bag.
Team Left Bank welcomed James Butler back after missing the first game with an ankle injury. From the tip off he was looking to get involved. James scored some great baskets early on, making the Neptune coach change his marker on three occasions.
Dean Kavanagh was also in top form providing the passes for James to convert and hitting two big three pointers of his own. Team Left Bank went in at the break three points ahead. They looked the stronger team in all areas.
The second quarter started with the Kilkenny team dominant. Their excellent defence was making it hard for Cork, who boasted three players who recently played Superleague basketball.
James Butler was inspiring, hitting 10 points in the quarter. Eugene Walsh picked off some nice scores near the basket. In the latter part of the quarter Neptune made a run with some fine scores from Kevin Reddy, cutting back the deficit to eight points at half-time.
The third quarter is a pivotal one in basketball and it was important for Kilkenny to get a good run going. Larry Murphy hit two three pointers to kick start things and the defence from Kilkenny was top notch, completely freezing out their opponents. The lead was stretched to 21 points.
Dean Kavanagh was in great form. The Corkmen decided to apply a full court press and it was relatively successful. They started to eat into the lead and finished the quarter with a strong momentum building three pointer.
Gerard Guinan stepped up for Neptune in the last quarter and hit a number of big scores to reduce the divide to five points with three minutes left. The momentum was with the home team. The experience of their previous nail biting encounter with Blue Demons stood to Team Left Bank, who finished strongly.
Larry Murphy was very solid from the free throw line hitting four out of four in this quarter to keep the scoreboard ticking over and help Team Left Bank Kilkenny to a three point.
The first home game against Ballon produced a great atmosphere. The team is hoping for a repeat of that against Maree this weekend. Admission is free for children. Adult tickets cost 3 Euro.
Team Left Bank Kilkenny - James Butler (18), Dean Kavanagh (17), Larry Murphy (12), Julian O’Keeffe (11), Eugene Walsh (4), Tommy O’Mahoney (3), Andy Piper (2), Brian Hogan, Damien Brett, David Clerkin, Daniel McDaid