The DCU Saints lost out in their opening game of the National Premier League season to the University of Limerick Eagles in Limerick on Saturday, October 3rd.
The game finished 74-57 and Saints Head Coach Joey Boylan admitted he was “not expecting to lose by that big a margin”.
Trailing 39-31 at the half, the Saints were kept at arm’s length for the remainder of the game by Paul Kelleher’s Eagle side.
Graham Brannelly (12) and Martin Neary (11) led the scoring for DCU in what was a disappointing start to the season for Boylan and his team.
“It wasn’t the start we were hoping for but we were down a few players. We actually gave seven players their debuts so we were kind of up against it from the start,” Boylan told The College View.
“We played well in stages but we kind of went out of the game at important times. We got it back to four at the start of the second half but just gave up 11 points (in a row) which made it very tough.
“In fairness, (UL) did play well but it was just a case of ‘if we had played better at certain stages’ it would’ve been a lot closer and could’ve won it,” he added.
Boylan still looked for positives in defeat. “We did give seven players their debuts and some of them played very well. Conor Gilligan played very well for his first game and hopefully we will get more out of them as the season goes on.”
After finishing eighth last season, Boylan says the Saints are looking to consolidate once again this campaign.
“We have a very young team this year and without an American (each Premier League side is allowed one) it will be tough against a lot of teams but we will try and make a push for the top four if we can,” Boylan said.
DCU Mercy, the women’s team affiliated with DCU, on the other hand got their campaign off to a winning start against Maxol Waterford Institute of Technology Wildcats. Mark Ingle’s side overcame WIT on a scoreline of 73-54 away from home in an impressive performance.
Chelisa Painter led the scoring for the Mercy with 21 points and was ably assisted by Aoife McDermott and Maleeka Kynard who scored 15 and 11 respectively.
Photo Credit: Ciaran Dunne
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