Trinity College 71
Barrow Rovers 54
Trinity Men’s Basketball “A” team overcame a strong challenge from Barrow Rovers on Friday, as they ran out a 71-54 victory in the Sports Centre. The visitors were the better side in the early periods, demonstrating their high level of skill to lead by 10 points at half time. Led by head coach Luke Rock, the energetic college team pulled away in the closing quarter to bounce back from Monday’s 80-59 defeat to Leixlip Zalgiris. Friday’s match was their first victory in this year’s Dublin Men’s Basketball Division 3.
Barrow dominated from the tip-off, brandishing their talent to grab some early points. The older, more experienced team were patient in attack and defence, adopting a calm formation before seizing offensive and defensive rebounds. In particular, their effective use of possession, combined with smart passing and good vision, helped them to a 15-12 lead at the end of the opening quarter. Trinity were unable to gather defensive rebounds and gifted Barrow with opportunities to extend their lead.
The visitors continued to lead throughout the first half, but their older players couldn’t match the intensity of the students, forcing the management to make regular substitutions. Eventually, their tiredness would catch up with them, allowing the hosts to push their opponents in the later stages. Sloppiness began to creep into their performance, and their poor discipline would put more pressure on them. Frustration grew among the players, culminating in a warning being issued to the away coach.
Trinity were able to capitalise on their opponent’s exhaustion to gnaw away at the Barrow lead. Instrumental to their comeback was Manuel Carro, who put in a strong shift to motivate his squad. He was calm during the free throws and bagged some 3-pointers. Backed up by a strong team and a fresh bench, their unrivalled energy and spark also boosted the side. Their second wind paid dividends, with the scoreline tied at 46-46 heading into the final quarter.
Then the home side began to stretch their legs, setting a tempo Barrow couldn’t match. With a comfortable lead, Rock ordered his team to tighten up in the dying minutes. In the end, the students claimed their first victory by 17 points. When asked about his team’s performance, Rock admits that it took a while for Trinity to bring the intensity: “At the start, we were guilty of playing down to the standard on court, which is something that Trinity Basketball is a bit infamous for. But in the third quarter, we really came into our own; we picked up on a few things and got into the zone defensively, which was well needed.
“Once we came out with a bit more energy, we showed what we can do as a basketball team. We have a lot of fantastic players on this team, and when we give it our all, there’s no team we can’t beat at this stage. It was a hard-fought win, and all the guys turned up tonight, so I definitely feel we deserved it.” Trinity continue their Division 3 campaign this Friday; they host UCD Marian in the Sports Centre at 8pm.