The wheelchair basketball 23/24 season returned in style on Saturday, as the battle for the Basketball Ireland National Cup kicked off in Balbriggan Sports Centre.

Ballybrack Bulls vs South East Swifts

Anthony Coy of South East Swifts dribbles up court against Ballybrack Bulls in the quarter final of the Basketball Ireland National Cup.

First game of the new season saw Ballybrack Bulls square up with South East Swifts. Ballybrack Bulls built up a healthy lead throughout the game, appearing to put it just out of reach for South East Swifts with a lead of 25-11 at half time.

Swifts came out reinvigorated for the second half, when closing that gap to 33-25 at the end of the third quarter, as multiple jump shots missed from the Bulls left an opening for their opposition. The Kilkenny side kept up their intensity in the final quarter forcing turnovers and drawing fouls out of Ballybrack.

As the clock ticked by, Swifts chipped away at the Bulls lead and finally with just over a minute left in the game, a lay-up from Jake Hennessy put them in front by a single point.

Some good defensive work kept Ballybrack at bay and in dramatic fashion South East Swifts sealed a 39-38 win to move on to the semi-finals.

A battle under the basket as Ballybrack bulls and South East Swifts went head-to-head in the Basketball Ireland National Cup quarter final.

Top Stats:

First quarter: Ballybrack Bulls 11-08 South East Swifts

Second quarter: Ballybrack Bulls 25-11 South East Swifts

Third Quarter: Ballybrack Bulls 33-25 South East Swifts

Final Score Ballybrack Bulls 38-39 South East Swifts

Most PointsTotal ReboundsAssistsBlocksSteals
24 – Jack Shannon Cole – Ballybrack Bulls12 – Valene Ryan/Anthony Coy6 – Mark Barry – Ballybrack Bulls2 – Patrick O’Neill – South East Swifts5- Anthony Coy – South East Swifts

Rebel Wheelers Multi-Sport Club 1 vs Clonaslee WBC

Conor Coughlan of Rebel Wheelers attempts to block Clonaslee’s Dermot Berry.

The champions began their defence of the Basketball Ireland National Cup as Rebel Wheelers took on Clonaslee in the second game of the day.

It was a runaway performance for the Cork side who overwhelmed Clonaslee, with a commanding lead of 34-14 at halftime. Impressive displays from Ireland stars, Jack Quinn and Con Coughlan showed that the pair are ready for the European Championships Division C, when they travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina with the Irish squad next week.

Clonaslee managed to contain the Rebels in the final quarter, adding 19 points to their tally but it was too little too late, as Rebel Wheelers closed the game with a score line of 70-35 and a place back into the semi-finals for the fifth year in a row.

Rebel Wheelers’ Jack Quinn scoops the ball up as the Cork side progress to the semi finals of the Basketball Ireland National Cup.

First quarter: Rebel Wheelers MSC 1 14-08 Clonaslee WBC

Second quarter: Rebel Wheelers MSC 1 34-14 Clonaslee WBC

Third quarter: Rebel Wheelers MSC 1 54-16 Clonaslee WBC

Final Score: Rebel Wheelers MSC 1 70-35 Clonaslee WBC

Top stats:

Most PointsTotal ReboundsAssistsBlocksSteals
20 – Jack Quinn – Rebel Wheelers MSC 117 – Dermot Berry – Clonaslee WBC10 – Jack Quinn – Rebel Wheelers MSC 11 – Neil O’Sullivan – Rebel Wheelers MSC 12 – Darragh O’Regan- Rebel Wheelers MSC 1

Titans Wheelers vs Killester WBC

A cagey affair when east meets west between Titans Wheelers and Killester WBC.

It was an East vs West clash when Titans Wheelers of Galway faced off against Dublin-based Killester WBC.

An intense affair, both sides bounced back and forth in a bid to take control of the game, the first quarter ending even at 14-14. A further 10 minutes of action and it was Killester narrowly edging in front at half time with a lead of 26-25.

A hard-fought contest between the two sides, tired arms started to slow down Titans Wheelers and Killester finally began to pull away. The Dublin outfit built up a 7-point gap by the end of the third before almost doubling that in the final quarter, sealing a victory of 50-37 and a date with Rebel Wheelers MSC 1 in the semi-finals.

Fatigue caught up with Titans Wheelers, which helped Killester progress on to the semi finals.

First quarter: Titans Wheelers 14-14 Killester WBC

Second quarter: Titans Wheelers 25-26 Killester WBC

Third quarter: Titans Wheelers 31-38 Killester WBC

Final score: Titans Wheelers 37-50 Killester WBC

Top Stats:

Most PointsTotal ReboundsAssistsBlocksSteals
24 – Stephen Melvin – Titans Wheelers12 – Gerry McLoughlin – Titans Wheelers5 – Oran Spain – Killester WBC1 – Patrick Forbes – Killester WBC4 – Oran Spain – Killester WBC

North East Thunder WBC vs Limerick Celtics

Limerick Celtics put North East Thunder to the sword during their National Cup encounter.

The final game of the day saw local side North East Thunder take on last season’s runners up, Limerick Celtics.

In a one-sided encounter, Limerick created a storm of their own, blitzing their way into a dominant lead with the first quarter ending 22-06 in their favour. Reaching the halfway mark Celtics more than doubled their lead, with the score 49-11 at the break.

A great display of teamwork from Limerick left North East Thunder unable to make any headway in the contest. Their defensive work was just as clinical as their offence, forcing repeated errors and turnovers, as they continued to also rack up the points.

The final buzzer finally put Thunder out of their misery, as Limerick Celtics cruised into the semi-finals with a score of 92-19. The Treaty County now have a date with South East Swifts later in the season.

North East Thunder had few opportunities in front of the basket against an overwhelming Limerick Celtics.

First quarter: North East Thunder 06-22 Limerick Celtics

Second quarter: North East Thunder 11-49 Limerick Celtics

Third quarter: North East Thunder 11-77 Limerick Celtics

Final score: North East Thunder 19-92 Limerick Celtics

Top Stats:

Most PointsTotal ReboundsAssistsBlocksSteals
36 – Joseph Hargrow – Limerick Celtics19 – Tadhg Buckley – Limerick Celtics14 – Tiarnan O’Donnell – Limerick CelticsN/A4 – Tiarnan O’Donnell – Limerick Celtics

The season is now back but next up, the Irish Wheelchair Basketball Senior Squad travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina to compete in Division C of the European Championships later this month. Show your support and help the team by donating. All funds raised help cover cost of travel, accommodation, entry fee to the competition, as well as fees for staff too.

Next up, the European Championships Division C where Ireland travel to Sarajevo.

If you would like to donate towards the team, then just click here and support Team Ireland this autumn!