BNI Men’s Plate – Last 16 Round
Omagh Thunder vs Belfast Pumas
After their previous five games ending in defeat the Thunder were looking forward to the Plate game vs Belfast Pumas who they had not lost to in their 6 meetings over the last few seasons.
With both teams employing a zone defence, the game was a shooting contest to begin with. Padraig Donovan started the game with a corner 3 followed by long distance scores from Charlie McKinney, Bradley and Tamas Nagy to take a 5 point lead at the end of quarter one.
Donovan stayed hot in the 2nd quarter scoring 13 of Omagh’s 25 for the quarter including three more 3-pointers as the Thunder pushed their lead to 10 points at half-time.
The Puma’s struggled to score after the break as Omagh upped their defensive intensity and began to score in the open court and increase their lead to 19 going into the final quarter with quality scores coming from Tiyrone Weir and Daz Minkus.
A solid final quarter thwarted any chance of a Pumas comeback and the Thunder booked their place in the quarter finals which will be played at the Station Centre on 28th January where they’ll face Letterkenny Blaze or Cookstown Wolves.
Thunder play Magherafelt Titans in the league on Thursday 21st at 8.15pm at the Station Centre followed by a trip to Andersontown Tigers on the 26th.
Omagh Thunder 85
Belfast Pumas 66
BNI Men’s Division 1
Armagh Bisons vs Omagh Thunder
Omagh first game of 2016 did not make for a happy new year as they travelled to Richhill to face the unbeaten league leading Bison’s.
Armagh started the game with a barrage of five straight 3 pointers forcing Omagh into a quick rethink of their defensive strategy. Down by 10 points so early the Thunder did well to recover and behind a combined 15 points from Joey Hale and Aidan Bradley the Armagh lead was only 4 at the end of the first quarter.
Bison’s only improved in the second quarter continuing to score freely from long range and then working the ball inside to tire the Omagh defenders and stretch their lead out to 59-41 at half-time. Omagh’s lack of substitutes (a squad of 7 in total) began to show and Armagh began to push the ball and score in transition in the game’s second half. Omagh were still getting their own scores with Dermot Gillan and Daz Minkus joining Bradley and Hale on the scoresheet but the Thunder defence could not stop the Bison’s on the other end of the floor. Joey Hale was the Weigh Inn MVP for the match scoring 19 in a high scoring and entertaining game.
Armagh Bisons 111
Omagh Thunder 84
Ireland’s U15 International Development Squads for the 2015-2016 Season have been announced with Omagh Thunder’s Mark Hayes making the panel of 34 boys. The squad was chosen by Ireland U15 Men’s Head Coach Pat Price from a process which began at Post-Primary Schools Inter-Regionals and included open trials of up to 100 hopefuls before a final trial session in Gormanstown College, Co Meath last Saturday.
The club wishes Mark all the best in his time with the Ireland squad and are extremely proud of his achievement.
The Thunder took on the unbeaten Armagh Bisons in the Station Centre last week with the winners going top of the table in Division One. The Bisons were relegated from the Wingfoot Premier League last season but they were exhibiting premier level team basketball from the start.
A. Pauparis opening the scoring for Bisons with a quick three-pointer to contribute to his 11 points in the first quarter. Omagh conceded 12 points from long range leading to a 15-24 deficit after the opening 10 minutes. Padraig Donovan and Dermot Gillan scored for Omagh to keep them in the game.
Omagh started the second period well with Tiyrone Weir and Joey Hale scoring inside and Donovan hitting two from downtown to cut the lead to 30-36. Armagh then put their foot on the gas with Pauparis continuing to prove hard to guard scoring from all over the court. The Bisons defending was stifling Omagh’s comeback attempt while U. Petrauskas then scored 6 points to end the half and put Armagh well ahead with a scoreline of 35-53.
Omagh matched Armagh basket for basket in the third quarter holding them to 14 points but unfortunately couldn’t reduce the lead despite good scores from Daz Minkus and Donovan.
Increased intensity from Omagh’s defence in the 4th quarter led to some steals and baskets to trim the Bison’s lead but the visitors eventually found their range and some excellent passing and rebounding saw out the game for them by 20 points.
Omagh slip down to 2nd place on the league table now with a 4W – 2L record and with Armagh now unbeaten in 5 games they top the league and look very difficult to catch.
The Thunder face Newry Flyers next away on Tuesday 24th.
Omagh Thunder 67
Armagh Bisons 87