Keenan and Templeogue rue missed chances as Reds slip up in Super League opener

GRIFFTH COLLEGE Templeogue Head Coach Mark Keenan described his side’s agonising 94-92 point overtime loss away to Belfast Star on Saturday as “one that got away”.

Despite a very slow start that saw them nine-points down by the close of the first quarter, the Reds had every chance to win this curtain raiser to their season.

Mark Keenan 1103783 compressor

Mark Keenan

Indeed, after having battled back superbly  in the second quarter to go in level at halftime at 37-37, Templeogue raced into a 12-point advantage in the third quarter and were six points to the good with just over a minute remaining.

But a combination of an untimely in-bound penalty, turnovers and missed attempts from play and the free-throw line afforded their hosts the chance to drag this tie out of the fire.

And with American Delaney Blaylock on fire with 25 points and Kellean Cairns chalking up just three less, Star had the means to capitalise on Templeogue’s wastefulness.

Rueing their squandered opportunities, Templeogue coach Keenan recalled “We were handed a five-second in-bound penalty, but looking back on the tape we held the ball for only four seconds.

“But look, we should never have found ourselves in that position and we have only ourselves to blame.

“We were 12 points up in the third quarter and were six up with 1.6 minutes left and had possession in-bound under their boards. But we turned the ball over, missed a lay-up, missed a free throw and they got it back to force extra time.

“Even in extra time we got a good start and were three points up. We had free throws to build on that, but missed them and that was a huge swing for Star. I mean the stats show that we made just four free throws from 18 attempts and that is just unacceptable.

“But we’ll have to take it on the chin and move on. We have to learn from that defeat and draw what we can from it” he stressed.

Certainly Lorcan Murphy was one of the stars for Templeogue, amassing 34 points in that tie, and he will be hoping to make another significant contribution when they play their next match against near neighbours Abbey Seals Dublin Lions in just over a week.

That weekend will also see Templeogue launch their Women’s Division One campaign with a home match against Swords Thunder.

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