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Irish Cup 04 - Semi-Finals
All Cork battle in prospect

Senior Men's semi-finals 
Mardyke UCC Demons 87(47) DJ Harrison 25, T Butler 25, S Coughlan 15
Team Merry Monk Ballina 78 (36) W Houston 24, R McGarrity 22, M Brooks 16

Mardyke UCC Demons overcame Team Merry Monk Ballina to take up their spot in Sunday’s final, running out for a 9-point victory, 87-78. Ballina fought hard throughout the game, but received a hard blow when Liam McHale left the court with an ankle injury late in the third quarter. 

Demons opened up an early lead with Torrey Butler and DJ Harrison on fire, with a 3-pointer from Paul Barrett Ballina’s only response for the first 3½ minutes of the game. A Ballina time-out midway through the quarter settled the Mayo men, with Wayne Houston and Liam McHale adding baskets to finish the quarter 19-14.

A basket from Paul McStay early in the second quarter cut the game to 3-points, before further baskets from Mylo Brooks and Ronan McGarrity made it a one-point game with 7.15 on the clock. Ballina were kept scoreless for the next three minutes while Butler and Harrison added points to open up an 11-point lead for Demons. A big 3-pointer from Liam McHale brought Ballina back into the game with 3.51 on the clock, but Brian Clernon hit back with a 3-pointer of his own. McGarrity worked hard hitting another five points, but Ballina were struggling with Harrison and Mark Michels, trailing 47-36 at half time.

Successive baskets from McGarrity and Brooks, followed by a slam dunk from Houston and Ballina were back in the game, 47-42. Another big 3-pointer from McGarrity and it was a 4-point game midway through the third quarter. Shane Coughlan added crucial baskets to keep Demons in control and led 55-51 before McHale went off injured with three minutes remaining. Ballina failed to score from play for the remainder of the quarter, while Michels and Harrison added points to allow Demons pull away. A big 3-pointer came from Tim O’Halloran on the buzzer to grant Demons a 10-point cushion at the end of the third quarter, 66-56.

Two 3-pointers from McGarrity, and one each from Mal Daly and Wayne Houston allowed Ballina reduce their deficit in the final quarter, before points from Butler and Coughlan kept Demons on top. Four points was as close as Ballina could make it, getting into foul trouble in the closing three minutes to allow Demons convert points from the line.

BK Limerick    83-89 Neptune
Limerick (J Hunter 29, R Fletcher 18, M Hall 13)
Neptune (C Watson 29, K Gamble 26, S McCarthy 13)

For the first time since 1992, it will be an all Cork Cup final, following Neptune’s 89-83 victory over BurgerKing Limerick.

Limerick led for much of the game, starting well with big 3-pointers from Matt Hall and Liam Farrell, while Neptune struggled to find the basket. Neptune were kept to five points in the opening five minutes of the game, while the white-hot Jamal Hunter led Limerick to a 17-5 lead midway through the quarter. A Neptune time-out resulted in successive baskets from Charron Watson, Marcus Walley and a big 3-pointer from Stephen McCarthy, and after two minutes Neptune had it cut to 17-12. The quarter finished basket for basket, with Watson and Gamble doing it all for Neptune, while Paul Freeman and Hunter made the baskets for Limerick to retain a five point lead 25-22 at the end of the first quarter.

Early baskets from Watson and Gamble gave Neptune their first lead of the game, 27-28 two minutes into the second quarter. Their lead was short lived however as 3-pointers from Kevin O’Connor and Jamal Hunter allowed Limerick regain their advantage, leading 49-41 at half time. 

A 20-point first half from Jamal Hunter was addressed early in the second half as Neptune upped their defence to take him out of the game. The Cork men came back into the game with Gamble and Watson on fire, while Limerick struggled offensively. A superb team performance granted Neptune a 60-66 lead at the end of the third quarter. 

Neptune retained control throughout the final quarter with Gamble hitting six successive points, while Limerick managed points from the line. Midway through the final quarter, a basket from Farrell cut Neptune’s lead to 5-points but it was as close as the Limerick men were to get. McCarthy converted two free throws, followed by further baskets from Watson and Gamble, to complete the Cork line-up for Sunday’s final.

Senior Women's semi-finals 
University of Limerick 58(33) M Aspell 21, B Schott 14, S Leahy 10
Dart Killester 44 (24) E Pierce 9, G Ennis 8, C Kissane 8

Senior Women's Semi-Final 2
Bausch & Lomb Wildcats 53(23) G Dwyer 18, M Liston 11, O Dempsey 10
Scruffy's St Pauls 66(24) S Cartmill 17, C O'Connell 13, C o'Mahony 8

Junior Men's Final 
Mardyke UCC      76-67 DART Killester

A superb team effort earned Demons the junior title, defeating Killester 76-67.  Finishing the game on 25-points, Niall Murphy earned the MVP award, with Carlton Cuffe and Brian Cummins also impressing.

Demons had the better first quarter with Carlton Cuffe, Niall Murphy and David Murphy making the points to lead 11-20 at the end of the period. Killester came alive in the second quarter with Isaac Westbrooks and John Behan working hard to cut the deficit. A field basket, followed by a 3-pointer from Ciaran O'Donoghue with one minute to go, earned
Killester a 29-28 edge.  The game levelled at 31-points a piece at the break, following two converted free throws from Isaac Westbrooks.

Five 3-pointers from Demons in the third quarter, including two  each from Niall Murphy and Brian Cummins and another from David Murphy.  With four minutes remaining in the quarter, Demons led 40-51, before Killester fought back in the form of the Westbrooks brothers.  Killester managed to cut the game to 5-points, before baskets from Cuffe and Cummins gave Demons a 48-55 lead.

Killester fought hard in the final quarter, but failed to take the lead at any time.  Leading by 10 points with five minutes remaining, Demons were than kept scoreless for the next 2½ minutes, while contributions from Behan and Isaac Westbrooks cut the game to 5-points.  Killester continued to press for the remaining minutes, but could not contain Niall Murphy.

Junior Men's Semi-Finals 
Dart Killester 67 (38) I Westbrooks 21, J Beahan 14, C Bernard 14
Shamrock Rovers 63 (29) C White 17, S Kinevane 13, M McAuley 11

Junior Men's Semi-Final 2
Mardyke UCC Demons 84 (44) N Murphy 25, B Cummins 22, D Murphy 11
Westaro Castlebar 58 (24) T Canavan 20, F Canavan 16, J Kelly 7

Junior Men's Final
Madyke UCC Demons 76 (31)  N Murphy 25, C Cuffe 23, B Cummins 13
Dart Killester 67(31) J Behan 20, I Westbrooks 19, A Westbrooks 15

Junior Women's Final 
Drimnagh Dynamos 54 (36) E Foley 20, J Byrne 17
Vienna Woods Glanmire 44 (15) M Breen 11, S Healy 10

A superb performance from Drimnagh Dynamos saw the U19 girls defeat Glanmire 44-55 to lift the Junior Women's Cup title.  A 20-point performance from Emer Foley earned her the Most Valuable Player award.

Glanmire had a poor first half, trailing 7-15 at the end of the first quarter, following an 8-point contribution from Emer Foley.  Sarah Coakley worked hard in the second quarter to contain Foley, but two late 3-pointers, one from Vivienne Shaw and another from Janet Byrne saw Drimnagh dominate 15-36 at half-time.

A comeback from Glanmire looked unlikely, with the Boland sisters Gillian and Sinead on fire.  Sarah Healy and Marie Breen worked hard for Glanmire, but the Cork girls trailed 29-46 at the end of the third quarter.

Glanmire had it all to do in the final ten minutes and when Sarah Coakley hit a big 3-pointer in the opening minute, followed by a basket from Breen, the game was cut to
12-points and a turnaround looked almost possible.  Glanmire rallied hard, but Foley and Byrne were accurate from the free throw line to keep Drimnagh in control.  A 3-pointer from Lidsay Allen with less than two minutes on the clock reduced it to ten points, but the clock was against Glanmire as Drimnagh ran out for the title.

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