After a slow start, Fr Mathew’s found their scoring touch to command a 31-29 interval lead. But then captain Jack O’Mahony stole the show and ensured his side enjoyed a 53-39 lead entering the closing quarter.
A brace of three pointers from Shane Davidson began the Vincent’s comeback and despite reducing the deficit to the minimum at the death, Fr Mathew’s clung on for a memorable victory.
Relief was the overriding emotion for winning coach Ian Cotter. He said: “We had to dig deep but I expected this challenge from a very good Vincent’s side, who showed incredible courage to almost snatch victory from us but thankfully we have at last earned our day in the sun.”
Scorers for Fr Mathew’s: Jack O’Mahony 24, Gary Pineda 15, Evan Barrett 9.
Scorers for St Vincent’s: Tariq Gueabali 24, Martin Neary 15, William McCarthy 10.
FR MATHEW’S: J O’Mahony, E Barrett, G Fernane, G Pineda, O Connolly, D O’Sullivan, D Burke, T Rooney, J O’Callaghan, D Burke, M Bukyns, C Ryan, K Ryan, R Leonard.
ST VINCENT’S: G O’Dea, M Boyle, D Harding, D Kikio, W McCarthy, M Neary, D Heaney, T Guebali, D Davidson, M Harcej, R Anders.
Referees: Declan Dunne (Dublin), Dick Dunne (Dublin), Canice Kelly (Kilkenny).
MVP: Jack O’Mahony (Fr Mathew’s).