Basketball: McGinn inspires Neptune to end 21-year cup wait
Neptune ended a 21-year wait for this trophy with an epic performance that proved too much for UL Eagles at a packed National Basketball Arena.
Along with a thunderous slam dunk from Darren Townes, the Cork men had everything go their way in the early exchanges. Gary Walsh had the Neptune fans on their feet at the end of the first period, a big three helping his team to a 23-11 lead going into the second.
Eagles star guard Rob Taylor ignited the defending champions midway through the second quarter. Taylor’s play was the key to a Eagles mini-revival that culminated in Neil Campbell converting a four-point play after being fouled behind the arc. The resulting free throw had his side back to within two.
After leading for the majority of the first half, Neptune then deservedly created a counter run as baskets from the inspired Michael McGinn and Ian McLoughlin had them leading 43-30 going into the third quarter.
McGinn continued to lead the Cork charge heading into the fourth while the teams still now had 15 between them, the score 60 to 45 with the final 10 minutes left to play.
While Eagles battled manfully right to the end, it was never to be their night and as their long-suffering supporters sang in the stands, Neptune were able to enjoy the last minutes of their eventual 85 to 65 win.