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ESB Irish Cup 2002
Limerick twist past Star

Men's Final

Star of the Sea 83
Limerick 89

Limerick celebrated their first-ever Irish Cup title in fine style, defeating perennial runners-up Star of the Sea 89-83 in a finale which had more swings than a well-stocked playground.

Limerick opened up an early lead and dominated the first quarter leaving Star trailing, 25-9 with 2½ minutes left. Gareth Maguire converted 2 from the free throw line, along with two late baskets from Marvin Dixon, pulled Star up to 15 points at the end of the quarter, 15 points behind Limerick, 15-30.

Limerick held control for the entire second quarter, two 3-pointers from Cleotis Brown, a slam dunk from McFarlan and Limerick led 37-22, half way through the quarter. Maguire was fouled under the baskets and converted 2/2, to give Star their first points in 3 minutes. Another dunk from McFarlan and it looked to be all over for Star, Limerick leading 45-31 going into half time. 

Robert Lynch opened the second half to stretch the Limerick lead further. Matthew Hall followed with a 3-pointer, another basket from McFarlan and the 52-33 lead was getting embarrassing for Star. But two minutes into the quarter, Star belatedly came into the game and put on a rally for the rest of the quarter. Marvin Dixon and Adrian Fulton did it all for Star to make it a 7 point game with less than a minute to go in the period. A 3-pointer from Tommy Walsh and Limerick led 70-60, going into the last quarter. 

Both teams battled hard in the final quarter. Limerick never looked threatened until a 3-pointer from John Leahy in the final minute to make it a 3-point game, 80-83. For a few brief seconds it looked like Star may clinch it, but when Kevin Craig picked up his 2nd personal foul with 41 seconds on the clock, Star were on team fouls. Limerick went to the line four times in the next 30 seconds and converted 5 points to pull away. Nine seconds on the clock and Limerick led 86-80. Maguire hit a 3-pointer with 1 second to go and the sharp Walsh threw up a long ball for Limerick, the second 3-pointer in 4 seconds to finish the game, 

Dixon took the MVP award for Sx3 Star for his outstanding contribution.

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