Dublin University Basketball Club’s (DUBC) men’s team has experienced mixed fortunes this season, a theme that continues this week in the side’s three fixtures. In the team’s domestic league, Division Three of the Dublin League, Trinity sit comfortably atop the table with six wins from seven. However, the team has struggled at inter-collegiate level, and finds itself at the opposite end of the table after three winless games. On Monday evening, DUBC continued their excellent start to the league season on with a 77-68 victory over University College Dublin (UCD) Marrion.
Played in the Sports Centre, the game began with Trinity immediately in the ascendancy. They landed an early three-pointer courtesy of Tom Elkington, before small forward Robbie Fidgeon-Kavanagh landed the first of many points in what was an excellent individual performance.
Unsurprisingly, UCD soon came back at Trinity, launching a number of dangerous counter-attacks that were gladly finished off by Themba Nicoala. Nevertheless, Trinity finished the quarter as they had begun it, with its dominance reflected on the scoreboard.
If the first quarter was DUBC’s, then the second brought a much more competitive showing from the visitors. David Magee and Diego Cardenas were constant threats as UCD set about reducing the deficit, reversing the game’s momentum. However, thanks in large part to the composure of Fidgeon-Kavanagh and the elusive dribbling of Niall Ryan, Trinity clung to its lead. The second quarter finished 43-37.
This trend continued in the third quarter, with UCD pushing hard to get themselves back in the game and into the lead. They did so midway through, Harry Doyle the man to finally turn the scoreboard in UCD’s favour. The loss of the advantage seemed to galvanise Trinity, and the Trinity players quickly restored it thanks to some crucial Elkington points – including a superb three-point basket. Despite the best efforts of the visitors, DUBC preserved the slenderest of gaps, setting the game up for a cracking finale at 57-53.
Tempers began to fray in the game’s final period, with both sides, desperate for victory, becoming irate at refereeing decisions. It seemed every attack ended in free throws at either end. When UCD’s Angus Pickering levelled the scores at 60-60 it seemed anybody’s game, but Luke Gaughan quickly hit back for DUBC. Fidgeon-Kavanagh followed this up with another decisive basket that gave Trinity some all-important breathing space.
From here on out, Trinity never looked like surrendering the lead, and when Elkington and Patrick Duryea landed three-pointers, victory became assured. Another mini-fightback from UCD was not enough as a visibly jubilant DUBC emerged with the points.
However, if things were looking rosy after Monday night, the next few days were not nearly so kind to DUBC. The relentless nature of the fixture list – the team regularly play games in successive days – may have impacted the team’s performance in the Colleges League, but they would have been bitterly disappointed to fall to two consecutive defeats in the Colleges League. On Wednesday, Institute of Technology, Sligo emerged the victors after a tight game in the west coast, while Thursday saw a heavy home defeat for DUBC at the hands of Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown. The results made it three losses in three for Trinity in the Colleges League, where it sit bottom of the table.