Colaiste Muire Under 16 All Ireland Basketball champions
All Ireland Basketball champions: Colaiste Muire capture the Bank of Ireland Under 16 school’s cup:
Charles McGoldrick got his team off to a great start, as St Muredachs got on the score-sheet first. Colaiste Muire hit back with two scores in quick succession. The sides appeared well matched as Peter Jermyn hit back for Crosshaven to make it 4-4. Cillian Lane and Colin Curran added a basket each for Crosshaven before Rory McGrath hit back for St Muredach’s. Crosshaven seemed to have the upper hand defensively and took an 11-6 lead into the second quarter.
The second quarter was a low scoring affair, with both teams contesting fiercely for territory and possession. Still Crosshaven were looking the more likely of the two sides. Jordan Murphy, Colin Curran and Cillian Lane were key in stretching the Cork side’s lead out to ten midway through the second quarter. Lane was performing well at both ends of the courts, getting in some timely blocks to frustrate Ballina. Colin Curran added three fine-lay ups in a row as Crosshaven’s class began to show. Jermyn added a spectacular three at the buzzer for Colaiste Muire completing what was a miserable second quarter for St Muredach’s, who managed just one point in the entire period to leave them trailing (33-7) at half time.
The St Muredach’s support was being drowned out by the considerable Crosshaven following in the stand. It was a pattern reflected on the court too, as the magnitude of the occasion appeared to overwhelm the Mayo side.
Ballina returned for the second half with a renewed sense of purpose. Unfortunately for the Mayo side, the damage of the second quarter was irreparable. Frustration was beginning to set in as Joseph Timlin was fouled out of the game and Thomas Murphy was guilty of a technical violation. The game lost, St Muredach’s coach Barry Murphy allowed some of his bench to see some action. Rory Tighe was by far the smallest player on-court, yet it did not prevent him from scoring for Ballina within minutes of coming on. In fact, the substitutes seemed to breathe some life into a beleaguered side.
The fourth quarter was more akin to a practise match in truth, as the difference on the score board, allowed Crosshaven to take their foot off the gas. A resounding 51-34 win was a fitting reward for a well drilled and confident performance.
Thanks to basketball Ireland for this report