Day 3 Recap: 2016 All Ireland Schools League Finals

Day 3 Recap: 2016 All Ireland Schools League Finals

  • Feb 24,2016
U19A Boys All-Ireland Schools League Final
Coláiste Choilm Ballincollig 52, Patrician College Newbridge 51
National Basketball Arena

Coláiste Choilm Ballincollig won the U19A All-Ireland Schools League in dramatic fashion, beating Patrician College Newbridge with the last score of the game at the National Basketball Arena. 

The final was tied at 51-51 with two seconds remaining when a moment of inexperience from the Kildare side gave Ballincollig the chance to win their first ever Senior ‘A’ title from the free-throw line. Dylan Brickley made the basket and Brian Murphy claimed the rebound on the follow-up to spark scenes of pure elation. 

Coach Francis O’Sullivan had sympathy for Patrician but thanked his squad for gift of a winners’ medal on his birthday. 

“I’ve been on the end of a couple of defeats like that,” said the veteran coach. “You’re still dealing with underage players in the cauldron of a noisy arena and they’re learning how to play this sport at the next level. It shouldn’t have come down to that kind of drama, but it was a hard earned win. The support the school has given the sport of basketball has been immense too.”

Coláiste Choilm’s shooting game let them down as they failed to make a three-pointer for the first time in the campaign. What they did instead was run enough fast breaks and make enough contested layups to tough out the win. 

They needed to against a strong Newbridge side who opened up a 30-20 lead in the third quarter. David Marnell, Niall O’Connor, Louis Ambrose and Conor Hartley all finished on double digits with a mix of athleticism and well timed offensive rebounding. 

In an undulating contest, Ballingcollig pulled off a 19-point swing to have the game at their mercy with less than three minutes left. Conor O’Sullivan was to the fore and finished with a game high 19 points and the MVP award. His coach admitted that ‘mental errors’ let Patrician back into it. 

“Maybe we thought the game was over. Patrician punished it for us and I’d say it made for a great game for the neutrals but it wasn’t fun from where I was standing.” 

Coláiste Choilm, Ballincollig: Bryan Murphy 12, Dylan Brickley 5, Dylan Corkery 7, Emmanuel Anaba 2, Conor O’Sullivan 19. Substitutes: Darragh O’Sullivan 4, John Agorh, Jack Lynch, Jack Murphy 3, Michael Lynch, Eoin O’Reilly David McMahon.
Patrician Newbridge: David Marnell 13, Eoin O’Conor, Niall O’Conor 10, Louis Ambrose 12, Conor Hartley 13. Substitutes: Calum Sourke, Colm Harnett, Mark Dempsey 2, Colin Barrett, Conor Smyth, Cillian De Barra, David Herd.
HT: Colaiste Choilm 20, Patrician 24
MVP: Conor O’Sullivan

U16A Girls All-Ireland Schools League Final
Holy Faith Clontarf 53, Scoil Chríost Rí Portlaoise 35
National Basketball Arena

The girls of Holy Faith Clontarf continued their dominance of U16A basketball with a 53-35 victory over Scoil Chríost Rí Portlaoise at the All-Ireland Schools League Finals. 
The standard was one of the highest seen across three days and 12 games of action at the National Basketball Arena. Three of the players on the floor will play for Ireland at the European Championships this summer and it was international guard Maeve Phelan who opened the scoring on the dribble for Scoil Chríost Rí.

The opening exchanges played like a fifth quarter from the Cup final between the two sides, also won by Holy Faith. The Dublin side were in double digits within four minutes as Bronagh Power-Cassidy drove hard on the baseline and Elizabeth Black capped a 13-0 run from the top of the key. 

Phelan’s arcing drive got the Portlaoise side back into it before her Ireland team mate Maeve O Seadhgha fired off a three-pointer under pressure in reply. Niamh Kenny ensured Holy Faith were the only girls side to notch a 20 point quarter at 2016 League finals week. 

Portlaoise continued to move the ball well in search of gaps. Phelan’s quarter-back passes gave them an extra second in transition and Amy Byrne, Ailbhe Griffin and Alice Dunne helped them to an 11-4 run in the second quarter.

Holy Faith were still a well-oiled machine. They held the advantage on the break and on the boards and Kenny snapped the run on a three-point play to help them to a 29-18 lead at half time. 

In the third quarter, they put a stop to Portlaoise’s penetration by clogging up the lane and once Maeve O’Seaghdha took over on the scoring, they were out of sight. 

Erone Fitzpatrick game into the game in the fourth as Scoil Chríost Rí forced a shot-clock violation and were full value for an 8-2 run. It prompted a time-out from Jerome Westbrooks and a response from the double-champions. 

Holy Faith Clontarf: Bronagh Power- Cassidy 15, Niamh Kenny 7, Elizabeth Black 9, Niamh Corry 2, Maeve Ó Séadhgha 20. Substitutes: Aine Walsh, Kim Clarke, Rebecca Dodd, Ciara Owens, Emma Crumlish, Laura Owens, Niamh Hetherton, Sarah Browne

Scoil Chriost Ri, Portlaoise: Aibhe Griffin 7, Amy Byrne 2, Erone Fitzpatrick 2, Alice Dunne 5, Maeve Phelan 19. Substitutes: Leah Dowling, Sarah Fleming, Sophie Delahunt, Eimear Healy, Maria Luttrell, Ellen Connolly, Maria Carroll.
HT: Holy Faith 29, Scoil Chriost Ri 18
MVP: Bronagh Power-Cassidy

U19A Girls All-Ireland Schools League Final
Holy Faith Clontarf  58, Ard Scoil Rathangan 32
National Basketball Arena

Holy Faith made it a clean sweep of the league at ‘A’ level as the U19 side proved too strong for Ard Scoil Rathangan. Three of the U16 side came back in for the win, but the Senior players were already gunning for victory after defeat to Rathangan in the Subway Schools Cup Final.  

“They’re a good bunch,” said Coach Jerome Westbrooks. “They like playing for each other and there are some good players out there. Our top players work hard, are making Irish teams and they deserve it.”

Rathangan established an early lead for the first quarter with Sinead Byrne on form and Claire Melia connecting for three-points with a jump-shot at the top of the key. The Ireland star rolled her ankle on the descent, leaving the Kildare side without their captain and MVP. The reaction from her team-mates however was superb. They put together their best scoring quarter through Ann Scully and Aine Nash to trail by just three points at half time. 

Holy Faith switched things up in their zone defence in the third quarter and there was no looking back. Ali Connolly got the first basket of the quarter and forced turnover after turnover before Saoirse Power-Cassidy hit back-to-back threes to put them in complete control. She was the second Power-Cassidy of the day to pick up an MVP trophy after younger sister Bronagh excelled in her first outing. 

Claire Melia attempted to come back in and was immediately effective on the offensive boards but couldn’t sustain her efforts on a weak ankle. 

Holy Faith stretched out their advantage down the stretch through Ali Connolly and substitutes Ruth Fennell and Ciara Curran. 

Holy Faith, Clontarf: Saoirse Power-Cassidy 13, Tiffany Erin Brockman, Aisling Carberry, Maeve McDermott, Ali Connolly 6. Substitutes: Deborah Sealy, Ruth Fennell 3, Mae Creane 5, Bronagh Power-Cassidy 9, Niamh Kenny, Elizabeth Black 8, Ciara Curran 5, Maeve O’Seaghdha 6.
Ard Scoil Rathangan: Claire Melia 8, Kelly Ann Scully 5, Aine Nash 9, Sinead Byrne 4, May O’Brien 5. Substitutes: Alanna McLoughlin, Laura Dempsey, Emma Doolin, Niamh Burke, Dominika Synowska.
HT: Holy Faith 24, Ard Scoil Rathangan 21.
MVP: Saoirse Power-Cassidy
Official Partners