MVP Murphy's 33-point haul inspires Templeogue to National Cup title

Griffith College Templeogue reigned supreme for the third time in five years at a sold-out National Arena in Tallaght.

Lorcan Murphy of Griffith College Templeogue celebrates with his team-mates after being named MVP in the Hula Hoops Pat Duffy National Cup Final.
Lorcan Murphy of Griffith College Templeogue celebrates with his team-mates after being named MVP in the Hula Hoops Pat Duffy National Cup Final.
Image: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

GRIFFITH COLLEGE TEMPLEOGUE are Hula Hoops Pat Duffy National Cup champions for the third time in five years after they saw off the challenge of Dublin neighbours, DBS Éanna to win out by 10 points, 78-68, at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght.

Lorcan Murphy was in stunning form for Mark Keenan’s side, finishing the game out with 33 points in a superb MVP performance.

Templeogue had heroes all over the floor when it was needed, though, as with just over a minute to go on the clock in the fourth quarter, the combination of Éanna’s Josh Wilson, Neil Lynch and Daniel Heaney brought the game back to just two points and the sold-out crowd were on the edge of their seats.

Up stepped experience though, and Templeogue delivered, with Neil Randolph draining a huge three-pointer before Jason Killeen hit a massive two from deep to build the cushion once more. From there, they drove home to victory in style.

dbs-eanna-v-griffith-college-templeogue-hula-hoops-pat-duffy-national-cup-final Jason Killeen of Griffith College Templeogue celebrates at the full-time buzzer. Source: Harry Murphy/SPORTSFILE

“It’s unbelievable,” said head coach Mark Keenan afterwards. “It was tense but it was sweet. They really came back at us hard and we looked a bit comfortable at a stage, but they really put it up to us. The guys showed a lot of mettle in the last two minutes when it got back to two points.

“Lorcan was unreal, Jason Killeen made big shots, Darren Townes made his free throw and I’m just thrilled for the lads. It’s brilliant for the lads and the club. Fair play to both teams but our experience probably stood to us in the end.”

dbs-eanna-v-griffith-college-templeogue-hula-hoops-pat-duffy-national-cup-final Lorcan Murphy of Griffith College Templeogue. Source: Harry Murphy/SPORTSFILE

The first half was truly the Lorcan Murphy show, as the talented Templeogue player went in at half-time with a whopping 28 points to his name.

Templeogue led the way from early in the first, with Darren Townes, Jason Killeen and Murphy all bagging early scores.

Mark Reynolds was the standout scorer for Éanna at the other end, hitting the first six of their opening points, but another Killeen jump-shot and a superb steal and score from Townes sent Templeogue into an early 15-8 lead. Brilliant work from Éanna’s Joshua Wilson saw the gap narrowed as he drove home a great lay-up, and this was followed up by a well-taken score from Neil Lynch to close the gap back to two points.

dbs-eanna-v-griffith-college-templeogue-hula-hoops-pat-duffy-national-cup-final Padraig Burke of Griffith College Templeogue in action against Mark Reynolds of DBS Éanna. Source: Harry Murphy/SPORTSFILE

Murphy stole the show as the quarter ticked down, knocking down another six points, and despite scores from Stefan Zecevic and Reynolds once more, Éanna trailed 19-24 at the end of the first.

Murphy continued his explosive form as the second quarter got under way. After a Killeen jump-shot got Templeogue straight off the mark, Murphy added the next eight points to round off a 10-0 run for Mark Keenan’s charges.

Reynolds broke the deadlock with another well-worked score and repeated the trick moments later. Éanna built on this momentum, and added to the run, with Wilson and Zecevic knocking down big scores to close the gap right back.

Again it was Murphy who was on hand to stem the tide, running home a quick four points, while a massive Neil Randolph three-pointer followed.

dbs-eanna-v-griffith-college-templeogue-hula-hoops-pat-duffy-national-cup-final Joshua Wilson of DBS Éanna goes to the board. Source: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

Neil Lynch replied in kind at the other end just before the half, but it was Templeogue who still held the lead 44-31.

Reynolds opened the scoring in the third quarter for Éanna but Stephen James drained a three at the other end, and a big Killeen jump shot put yet more space between the teams, opening up a 51-33 lead.

Lynch was on hand to deliver for Éanna again at the other end, knocking down fantastic back-to-back threes either side of a Townes’ dunk. Wilson was also to the fore for Éanna as they tried to claw their way back into the game, and he followed up with two super drives before Zecevic knocked down a massive three-pointer to bring the Éanna crowd to their feet and bring the game back to a nine-point battle.

dbs-eanna-v-griffith-college-templeogue-hula-hoops-pat-duffy-national-cup-final Lorcan Murphy rose highest on Saturday night. Source: Harry Murphy/SPORTSFILE

Heaney was on hand to drive them forward even more, scoring a big three points, but Puff Summers stepped up for Templeogue, hitting a super fade-away jump-shot and delivering an absolute dagger blow just before the buzzer with a three-pointer from deep. Templeogue led 63-54 going into the last.

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Scores were at a premium in the early stages of the fourth quarter before Zecevic and Marko Tomic each registered for Éanna. Free throws at the other end kept Templeogue’s account ticking over and with just over three minutes to play, they looked comfortable leading 69-58.

Éanna were not done yet, though, and a big Lynch score, followed by a great Wilson basket and bonus score edged them closer.

A huge score from Heaney, followed by a free throw, suddenly had the game on a knife-edge with just over a minute to play, Éanna now trailing by just two points, 67-69.

Randolph and Killeen stepped up to the challenge in style though, with Neil landing a huge three moments later before Killeen followed up with a deep two.

By the end, the lead was back to 10, and Templeogue were champions once more.

dbs-eanna-v-griffith-college-templeogue-hula-hoops-pat-duffy-national-cup-final Griffith College Templeogue captain Stephen James celebrates with the cup. Source: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

GRIFFITH COLLEGE TEMPLEOGUE (points tallies in brackets): Iarla McKeon, Kris Arcilla (2), Stephen James (3), Puff Summers (6), Xabier Arriaga (2), Matthew Harper, Padraig Burke (1), Vladamir Tokishin, Darren Townes (8), Jason Killeen (15), Neil Randolph (8), Lorcan Murphy (33)

DBS ÉANNA (points tallies in brackets): Hillary Netsiyanwa, Paris Ballinger (3), Milo Herbst, Thomas McCabe, Joshua Wilson (16), Stefan Zecevic (10), Neil Lynch (15), Maxime Zafran, Marko Tomic (3), Daniel Heaney (7), Ciaran MacEvilly, Mark Reynolds (14).

MVP: Lorcan Murphy (Griffith College Templeogue)

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Mary McGuire

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