Kinevane delight at helping UCD end long wait for title

TALLAGHT’s Scott Kinevane has spoken of his joy in helping UCD Marian end a 40-year wait for the Men’s Super League Basketball title.

A thrilling 72-71 point triumph over Pyrobel Killester in a title play-off in the National Basketball Arena on St Patrick’s Day marked the culmination in a long-hard season for the team that had been pipped for the National Cup by Templeogue back in January.

Killester V UCD 2208

UCD Marian celebrate clinching their first Men's Super League title in 40 years

Yet, under coaches Ioannis Liapakis and local man Conor James, the team got its just rewards after a nailbiting showdown against Killester whose own Ciaran Roe hit a three-pointer to square the match with 12.1 seconds to go.

But, with less than five seconds left on the clock, UCD’s Mike Garrow drew the foul and, from the free throw line, scored the first and missed the second, as the northsiders ran out of time to respond.

Looking back on such a momentous feat, Kinevane told The Echo “It was just a great feeling and one I’ll always remember. The atmosphere was just electric and when that buzzer went, the lads just ran around hugging each other. It meant so much.

“It’s been a long hard slog. There were no short cuts to what we achieved and to have guys, some of whom I didn’t even know, come up to you after the game and tell you that they were waiting 40 years for this; it was just great.

Anything can happen

“We had sat down before the season and we set out our goals, and they were to make history and win the league and get to a cup final. Anything can happen in a cup final.

“To do it after all that we’ve been through this season. We felt we left that cup behind, and you have the hangover over a final.

“We had a quick double header after that match against Vincent’s and Demons. We lost to Vincent’s (DCU Saints) and then had to go to Demons. It was like ‘are the wheels starting to come off now?’

“But we sat down and laid all our cards out on the table and went on to beat Demons well. They got us back on track. We had a couple of other blips but we got back.

“Killester are a great team. They had beaten us twice in the league and we really wanted to show that we were the best team in the league this season.

“Ioannis deserves a huge amount of credit for this as does Conor [James] and all the coaching staff. They really stuck by and dragged us through when other teams might have folded,” he stressed.

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