After a run of indifferent form, Team Left Bank got back to winning ways when they scored a comprehensive victory over Ballon BC in O’Loughlin Gaels on Saturday night. The win puts them top of the table in the Southern Conference, albeit with a couple of additional games played.
There was a big crowd in attendance, including a large contingent of up and coming basketball stars from the New Inn club Cashel, Co Tipperary who entertained the rest of the crowd at half time. Team Left Bank Kilkenny beat Ballon BC by 63 points to 38.
From the tip off Team LB were in an aggressive mood and employed a hard working man to man defence. Julian O’Keeffe and Brian Hogan put their men under pressure, forcing them to make tough passes and turn the ball over. James Butler was on form at the other end, netting some early baskets.
O’Keeffe converted a couple of fast break baskets to capitalise on the home team’s early dominance. A late surge from Ballon reduced the deficit to 5 points at the end of the quarter.
Joe Malone and Philip Brennan starred in the second quarter, hitting a number of baskets. Malone was proving too big to handle by Ballon and the home team used this to full advantage. Lugh O’Neill and Andy Piper also impressed in this quarter from the bench.
The defensive intensity was excellent from Team LB as they pressed their opponents continuously, not giving them any space. O’Neill picked up a couple of steals which were duly converted and the home team pushed out their lead to 13 points at the break.
The most impressive aspect was that Ballon had only managed to score 16 points in the opening 20 minutes, which at this level is rare and a credit to the defence by the home team.
The third quarter has always been either hit or miss for Team LB, so it was important to get off to a good start. Despite an early three pointer from Ballon, the home team picked up where they left off in the second quarter and put in a dominating 10 minutes, stretching their lead to 27 points. The home team should have been further ahead, but there were a number of missed free throws and easy baskets given up.
Noel O’Hara made a welcome fourth quarter appearance after coming back from an injury which kept him out for over two weeks. He hit four points. Eugene Walsh also made an impact from the bench.
Team LB were coasting and went on to finish impressively, winning 63-38. Still there is still room for improvement.
The team now have three games left before Christmas; a trip to Templeogue this weekend followed by a home game against Castleisland on December 1 and a vist from newcomers Donegal Town on December 15.
The club is hoping to get good support for these games.
Anyone who remembers the thriller against Castleisland last year will know that this is one to look forward to.
This was a fantastic performance. Everyone made a massive contributions, but Brian Hogan stood out with a man of the match effort. He had big shoes to fill at the start of the year, taking over the point guard position from Dean Kavanagh, which is not his natural position.
In game after game he continues to improve and impress.
This time he hit 8 points, two defensive and two offensive rebounds, two steals and three assists.
Team Left Bank Kilkenny - James Butler (15), Julian O’Keeffe (9), Brian Hogan (8), Joe Malone (8), Andy Piper (6), Eugene Walsh (5), Philly Brennan (4), Noel O’Hara (4), Padraig Morrissey (2), Lugh O’Neill (2), Liam O’Shaughnessy.