NUIG Maree coach Charlie Crowley lavished praise on his charges after they beat Templeogue 85-83 to knock out the reigning champions in the National Cup’s opening round on Saturday.
orcan Murphy shot 27 points for the Dublin side, but it was not enough to stop the Galway men recording their first victory in the competition’s history.
“It was looking grim enough at the very start, but we stuck to it and we kept going,” said Crowley, whose side confront UCD Marian in the quarter-finals.
“There were some big individual performances, Deondre Jackson, Lovre Tvrdic – they stepped up big when we needed them and they came in.”
Meanwhile, Kieran Donaghy enjoyed a 74-66 victory yesterday over Ballincollig with Tralee Warriors, less than 24 hours after knocking out East Kerry in the Kerry SFC with Austin Stacks.
Donaghy and Co will next confront Moycullen in the last eight of the cup.
“Last night was great with the club, but I knew this was going to be a big one and I hadn’t been playing with the lads, so I’m nearly more of hindrance as I don’t know the offences well enough,” Donaghy said.
“But when it was going against us we just dug in on defence. A lot of us are new and once we get that chemistry going we’ll be in a good identify. But look, that’s a enormous win in the cup.”
The 2020 beaten finalists Éanna will take on Killorglin in the quarter-finals after emerging 98-69 winners away at Belfast Star on Saturday. Killester will confront Neptune after beating DCU Saints 93-68.
Women’s cup champions Killester also bowed out at the first round after experiencing a home 102-61 defeat to Glanmire on Saturday.
The Cork side, who now confront IT Carlow in the quarter-finals, were bolstered by the return of Claire Melia to their starting line-up, and finished the game with 24 points.
“I am very happy for the girls, we’ve had a associate of tough weeks, a associate of injuries, a associate of illnesses and we just had to knuckle down as a team,” Glanmire head coach Mark Scannell said.
American import Alarie Mayze starred for DCU Mercy by scoring 17 points in their 66-42 win over St Mary’s in Castleisland, which sets up a quarter-final with Liffey Celtics.
Meanwhile, Celtics side thrashed IT Carlow 98-58 in their Women’s Super League clash on Saturday, which left them top of the table on points difference.
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