Keenan warns of all-round quality in high-flying Éanna

By Stephen Leonard

GRIFFITH College Templeogue boss Mark Keenan is wary of an all-round clinical Éanna outfit as he prepares his side to face them in this Saturday night’s Hula Hoops Pat Duffy National Cup Final in the National Basketball Arena.

While they may have leap-frogged their Rathfarnham rivals in the Super League following last weekend’s proceedings, Templeogue are under no illusions as to the challenge they face in attempting to complete their march to a third National Cup title in four years.

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Griffith College Templeogue boss, Mark Keenan appreciates only too well the talent their near neighbours can unleash in Saturday night’s massive National Cup Final derby

They are coming into the game off the back of a hard-earned 54-67 victory away to Killorglin on Saturday that saw them overtake Éanna who suffered a 13-point reversal against Killester.

Yet the Rathfarnham side still has a match in hand and Keenan believes that the defeat their rivals shipped on Saturday could serve to refocus and motivate them.

“I know Éanna are coming off the back of a loss, but that could be a nice wake-up call for them and could refocus them, so we won’t be reading too much into that result” he stressed.

Certainly Keenan will be warning his own players about the all-round danger their neighbours pose in light of their rapid rise back from the National League ranks last season.

Looking at the Éanna arsenal, Keenan said “[Stefan] Zecevic and [Josh] Wilson are their two drivers, but Mark Reynolds had a very good semi final. He brings them very good stability.

“I suppose the unknown quantity for us is [Paris] Ballinger, their other American. They didn’t play him against us so we don’t know what he’s like, but he has been coming on for them and doing well.

“[Neil] Lynch, if he starts bombing threes he’s going to make it very difficult for us and then they have [Marko] Tomic who seems to be working well with Zecevic, two Serbians. So they’re very good everywhere.

“We beat them by 14 earlier in the season, but that’s a little bit false. We pulled away in the last couple of minutes, but it went right to the wire up to that” he admitted.

Templeogue are up to fourth place in the Super League table following their triumph in Killorglin on Saturday.

It was a serious test for the Reds who had just two points to spare at the halftime break and it remained pretty much tit-for-tat throughout the third quarter with Xabier Arriaga on form for the visitors and Rami Ghanem helping keep the hosts in touch.

Indeed just four points separated the two heading into the final quarter during which Templeogue hit the turbo button for a 13-point victory.

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