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Evening Echo

Old rivals to battle it out in cup



This is for you Emmett

Bord Gáis Neptune players and team officials celebrate victory after the final buzzer sounds in the Nivea for Men's SuperLeague National Cup final. Picture: Sportsfile

See four pages of analysis and match reports on pages 50-53

THE scene is set for a couple of classic Cork-Kerry ties in the semi-finals of the Corn Ui Mhuirí (Munster Colleges SFC) on February 10, writes MARK WOODS. There’s a repeat of last season’s final between the holders Pobal Scoil Chorca Dhuibhne and De La Salle Macroom and age old rivals Coláiste Chríost Rí and St Brendan’s, Killarney. The Dingle champions were made to battle all the way by St Francis Rochestown in the outstanding quarter-final tie in Killarney yesterday. The Cork school’s interest in the competition ended in a 1-4 to 0-6 defeat, but not before they gave as good as they got in the worst conditions imaginable. Incessant rain turned the Dr Croke’s training pitch into something resembling a paddy-field with large pools of water, questioning the wisdom of the game going ahead at all. Rochestown were outstanding in the first-half with Alan O’Donovan a powerhouse at midfield and his closing point levelled matters at 1-2 to 0-5 at the interval. There were only three scores in the second-half. Mark Dolan edged Rochestown in front, but substitute Tom O’Sullivan hit the winner for the Kerry side three minutes from the end. ● See P49 for more.


Neptune win cup and dedicate it to their late team-mate Neville IT HAS been Ger Noonan’s lifelong dream to captain his beloved Neptune to a National Cup title and it came true last night at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght. When Noonan, 30, lifted the cup over his head at the end of their superb display which saw Bord Gáis beat cup favourites UL Eagles by 20 points, he looked to the heavens with tears in his eyes and said, ‘thanks Emmett, this is for you’. Emmett Neville, his former team mate, died 10 years ago this week at just 21 years of age. Neville was Noonan’s

BASKETBALL By JOHN COUGHLAN best friend, on-and-off the court, and the Neptune play-maker even has a tattoo with his name on it, while the club retired Emmet’s number 15 jersey. “This means the world to me, this is for Emmett Neville,” Noonan said. “How fitting that I win this medal 10 years almost to the week when Emmett died. “He was looking down on me, he helped me win this and it’s a very emotional time for me, there is so much going through my head. I wanted this

medal as much for Emmett as I did for myself.” Neptune hadn’t got their hands on a national trophy since the SuperLeague title 10 years ago, and more remarkably their last cup was all the way back in 1992. Indeed they hadn’t been crowned cup kings since the finals were moved from Neptune Stadium to the National Arena in Tallaght. While they were huge underdogs against a UL outfit who won the double last season, the Eagles had no answer to Neptune’s raw hunger and passion, cheered on by a huge support from Leeside. ● See P50-53 for more.

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