Over the last week two Belfast teams made the trip to the Dublin National Basketball Arena to seek a shot at becoming All Ireland School Champions. St. Mal and Our Lady and St Patrick’s College Knock (OLSPK) had secured their places in the U16A Boys and U19B Girls finals respectively.
U19B Girls Final
Presentation De La Salle (Carlow): 39
OLSPK (Belfast): 27
OLSPK of Belfast faced off against Carlow side Presentation De La Salle in the Under 19 B Girls All Ireland Schools League final.
The Belfast girls edged out a 11-9 lead over their opponents in the first quarter and an equally close 2nd quarter saw the Carlow outfit secure a 1 point lead at half-time, 14-15. In the third quarter De La Salle took what would be an unassailable lead outscoring the Belfast team by 14 points to 3 and finished the quarter with a comfortable 29-17 lead going into the last.
In the fourth OLSPK came back into it, with the two McCreanors (Ciara and Muireann) really dazzling for them, but the damage had been done and De La Salle ran out deserving 39-27 point winners.
PRESENTATION DE LA SALLE: Ellen Murphy, Aoife Roche, Rachel Sawyer (6), Niamh Forde (2), Orla McDonagh, Niamh Roche (5), Molly O’Dwyer, Caoimhe O’Neill (11), Anne Roche, Eve Sinnott, Helen Roche (2), Amy Dooley (13).
OLSPK (BELFAST): Beth Brenna, Ciara McCreanor (8), Maeve Deery, Muireann McCreanor (8), Emma Coney, Niamh Fitzpatrick, Louisa Donnelly (11), Miya Choda, Lia Brennan, Doireann Sheridan, Aoibheann McCarrill.
MVP: Rachel Sawyer (De La Salle)
WATCH BACK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hf1kqHQDHo
U16A Boys Final
St Joseph’s (The Bish, Galway): 34
St Malachy’s College (Belfast): 46
ST MALACHY’S COLLEGE of Belfast secured a double of All Ireland League title wins, as they continued on their superb form of 2016 to bag a 46-34 point win over St Joseph’s (The Bish) of Galway at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght.
The win was even sweeter for the Belfast team, as they overcame The Bish just over one month after losing to them by ten points in the SUBWAY All Ireland Schools Cup final at the same age group.
CJ Fulton and Conn Doherty were the driving forces behind St Malachy’s win today, as they covered every board on the court to ensure victory for their side. A close and competitive first quarter saw it all square on 13 apiece at the buzzer, with Darragh McNulty and James Cummins tipping in some great scores for The Bish. Fulton and Jack Summersgill showed off their three-point shooting at the other end, and kept the scores raining in in the second quarter to ensure not much separated the teams at half time, 22-18 in favour of The Bish.
As the clock ticked into quarter three, St Malachy’s continued to press hard, with Conor Ryan chipping in with a nice three-pointer to close the gap early on and Matthew Sweeny of The Bish and Summersgill exchanged scores at either end to keep it neck-in-neck throughout and good scoring from James Connaire as the clock ticked to zero saw him tie the game once more at 31-31 to tee up an exciting finale.
St Malachy’s took control in the fourth quarter however, outscoring their Galway counterparts by 15 points to 3, as points came flooding in from Doherty, Fulton and Cormac O’Rourke. A fantastic defensive display from the Belfast team saw them keep The Bish at bay, and despite the best efforts of Connaire and McNulty, they just couldn’t break inside and Malachy’s held on for a much-deserved win in the end.
ST JOSEPH’S (THE BISH, GALWAY): Darragh McNulty (8), Iarlaith O’Sullivan (2), James Cummins (9), James Wall, Gavin Powell, James Connaire (6), Thomas Togher, Matthew Sweeney (3), Aaron Kiernan (6), Brian Gaffney, Stephen Barron, Ryan Hornett.
ST MALACHY’S COLLEGE (BELFAST): CJ Fulton (11), Ronan O’Neill, Conor Eastwood, Jack Summersgill (7), Ryan Scott (4), Conor Ryan (6), Cormac O’Rourke (2), Niall Hurson, Conor Cooke (6), Conor McDonnell, Conn Doherty (10), Denis Price.
MVP: Conn Doherty (St Malachy’s).
WATCH BACK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2TbDdg4uBI