V Galway Titans on 9th February 2013
Team Left Bank at Top of Their Game
Team Left Bank – 61
Galway Titans – 73
It was tough night at the office for the National League squad on Saturday night in what was a fantastic game of basketball. The Titans boast a number of American, African and Lithuanian players and are one of the best teams in the country at present so for the Left Bank team to compete strongly against a team like this is an achievement in itself.
It looked ominous at the start as the ‘Galway’ team settled the quickest and shot into a 10 – 2 lead, however after a quick time out to talk things over the Kilkenny lads came out all guns blazing bringing it back to 10 – 10 with some fantastic scores from James Butler, Philly Brennan and Julian O’Keeffe. At the end of the first quarter the Titans knew they were in a game and would not be getting anything easy. Team Left Bank were very physical in defence which unsettled the opposition at times and Butler dominated the defensive boards throughout the game picking up a staggering 19 rebounds in the game.
Titans upped their game in the 2nd quarter in particular their main American and African players Andre Tango and Taifik Mustapha as they raised the intensity in defence and started to run their transition game to great effect. They also notched up 12 points between them in the quarter as the home team struggled to put points on the board. The lead had gone from 3 points to 15 at half time and Team Left Bank looked down and out.
However, having been in similar circumstances the previous week going down by 22 at one stage to Fr Matthews and coming back to almost win that match the Kilkenny lads have shown that there is a fighting spirit in the squad and they never know when they are beaten. The 3rd quarter saw Julian O’Keeffe take over, he hit 13 of his 25 points on the night in this quarter and was simply unplayable. Titans swapped defenders a number of times to try and contain O’Keeffe but none had a chance with the form that he was in. Out of all of the import players on show for Titans it was O’Keeffe who stood out head and shoulders above them all as the top player on the court Saturday night. His defence was excellent picking up 4 steals, 5 rebounds, scoring 25 points and had 6 assists, not a bad night at the office!
Titans still managed to edge the 3rd quarter by 3 points leaving them with a lead of 18 going into the final quarter and having led by as much as 22 at one stage. The 4th quarter was fantastic for the onlooker, with both sides throwing everything they had, James Butler who also had a stormer of a game continued his dominance of the boards but also notched up an impressive 17 points and playing his best game since Left Bank overturned Ulster Elks before Christmas. Padraig Morrissey was in great form and very tough to handle inside while Philly Brennan was very accurate with jump shot and a colossus in defence. It was a tough night for the point guards who were under constant pressure from a very athletic Titans team but they equipped themselves well and at the offensive end and both were fantastic in defence.
It is not often that you walk away from a game being proud of a loss but when looked at in perspective, Titans are in the Top 10 teams in the country at the moment including the Superleague Teams and to compete and push them all the way in front of the Kilkenny crowd is something to be proud of. It would be no shock if they were to lift the league title in March.
Scorers: Julian O’Keeffe 25, James Butler 17, Philip Brennan 6, Brian Hogan 4, Padraig Morrissey 4, Tommy O’Mahoney 2, Lughaidh O’Neill 2, Noel O’Hara 1, Liam O’Shaughnessy, Fran Wright, Eugene Walsh.
Last Home Game of the Season – Saturday 16th February:
Our last home game will be played this Saturday in the Watershed Gym at 7pm and will be a real grudge match against the other Galway team Maree. Team Left Bank narrowly lost out in Galway under controversial circumstances and will be looking to make amends on their home court. To add extra spice to the affair both teams are battling for the 4th spot in the Southern Conference and will be eager to get a result on Saturday. We hope to see you all there to support the boys in this game, the Watershed is a fantastic venue for this event and there is no cover charge for children so bring them along as they are sure to enjoy it.