Newry Fliers 51 vs Belfast Cranes 60 – 9/2/16
After a tough loss a week earlier to Letterkenny Blaze, the Newry team was eager to get a win against their next opponent, Belfast Cranes. The game started slowly for both teams with many turns in possession, but as time went on players started to get into the swing of things and the scores started to rise. Early points came from Paul Crawley the Newry guard who was able to hit a couple of long jump shots. Cranes were able to answer with accurate shooting from all over the court from a variety of players. The back and forth play lead to Newry being ahead by 1 point at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter introduced a new panel of Newry players which included Daniel McCaughey and Aaron Miller, two of the younger players on the squad. They were able to provide defensive intensity and put extra pressure on the ball, leading to turnovers and baskets for players such as Declan Mathers. Strong drives from Niall Byrne lead to easy points from the free-throw line, helping the home team to gain a 4 point lead to end the half.
The second half saw a change in play. Cranes gained momentum as they began to consistently hit jump shots and were able to stop any easy baskets for Newry with their strong zone defence. Newry struggled to get to the basket and were only able to score 7 points in the quarter compared to Belfast’s 12.
Going into the final quarter Belfast Cranes lead by 1 point. Newry had to do something differently if they wanted to win and some smart passes between Crawley and Byrne lead to a few easy baskets. Cranes continued to score jump shots from all over the court making a comeback difficult for the Newry side. This was made even more difficult was ejected from the game after reaching the foul limit. Mathers had played a key role in the Fliers’ defence. Fortunately for Newry, Eoin McStay and Ryan Lennon were there to pick up any defensive slack and the game remained close. With only a few minutes remaining in the game the Cranes’ shooting was as deadly as ever as they hit three late 3 pointers to put themselves in a more comfortable position. These last few baskets were the nail in the coffin for Newry who were unable to catch up and lost the game by 9. Final score 51-60.
Scorers: P. Crawley (MVP) – 27, N. Byrne – 10, A. Miller – 7, D. Mathers – 5, S. Brady – 2, M. Walsh, R. Lennan, E. McStay, D. McCaughey.