Éanna secure their return to top ranks

DBS Éanna Head Coach Darren McGovern has praised his players and the team’s supporters after they fulfilled their primary objective of an immediate return to the Super League ranks.

After suffering relegation to the National League last season, the Rathfarnham side produced an amazing run that saw them win all but one of their 25 games to earn promotion as league champions- a feat that was completed with two great wins over Scotts Lakers Killarney and Abbey Seals Dublin Lions last weekend.

Eanna team

Éanna celebrate after victory over Dublin Lions in the decider.

In the league semi finals against their Kerry rivals, Eanna stormed to a 95-78 point victory in front of a packed home court on Saturday with some huge scoring by Josh Wilson (25 points), Neil Lynch (22 points) and Stefan Zecevic (21 points).

The league decider against Lions the following day in Waterford proved a much closer affair as the Clondalkin side battled back from 12 points down at the halftime break to set up an exciting finish, but they ultimately lost by six (73-67) thanks in no small measure to composed late free throws by co-captains Lynch and Conor Gallagher and a massive 29-point haul from Zecevic.

“It was a great squad performance over the weekend, everyone stood up” said Éanna boss McGovern.

“The two games were polar opposites. The first match against Killarney was so free-flowing with both teams going at it.

“We had a huge crowd in the gym, the biggest that I’ve ever seen there and they really got us over the line.

“The match game against Lions was the following day so a quick turnaround. It was in Waterford so there was not as much of an atmosphere, and it was a lot more tight defensively.

“Dublin Lions played some fantastic defence. They gave us a few things in the first quarter, but in the second, third and fourth they really made it difficult for us.

“But it was great to get over the line, it was great for our co-captains Neil Lynch and Conor Gallagher who were on the team that was relegated last season when they lost to Neptune in a play-off in the very same gym in Waterford.

“It’s great. Our Number One objective in pre-season was to get back up to Super League and we’ve done that as National League winners.

“We played 25 games and won 24, our only defeat was against Ballin-collig two weeks before when we lost by one. They hit a basket seven or eight seconds from the end.

“For myself, it was a dream season. We went 21 and 0 before our first loss and not every young coach can say their team did that” he said.

His side will be now turning their attention to the National League Cup quarter final in which they will face off against either Tolka Rovers or Limerick on Sunday.

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