The Hannigan brothers — James and Scott — lit up the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght yesterday as they powered Gaelcholáiste Mhuire AG to U19A Boys Subway Schools Cup glory. The pair hit 53 points between them in a 68-79 victory over Mercy Mounthawk. Their scoring coupled with a superb display from David Lehane, secured a deserved title for the Cork side.
Winning coach, David Lehane (senior), said: “It’s brilliant, it’s great for the lads, they worked hard all season so it was much deserved. The two Hannigans were outstanding. This is our first time since 2002 to bring some silverware back so we’re very happy.”
There was little between the sides in the opening minutes with Daire Kennelly and Scott Hannigan trading scores. But then the Hannigans hit their stride and fire Gaelcholáiste Mhuire into a 14-22 first quarter-lead.
A big second quarter followed from the Cork side with Kevin Moynihan and the Hannigan brothers pushing them 10 clear (33-23). But Mercy Mounthawk mounted a comeback with James Fernane and Kennelly to the fore as they narrowed the gap to 35-42.
The Tralee men blasted out in the third with points from Leeroy Odiahi, Kennelly and Fernane. Lehane though settled his schools with a three-pointer and then went to the line for the four-point play bonus. Mounthawk’s Steven Bowler and Philip Corkery mounted some resistance but they still trailed 51-63 at the end of the third. Mounthawk never gave up as Corkery, Odiahi, Kennelly and Fernane all notched scores but the Hannigans, Lehane and Moynihan always kept the Cork side out of reach as they held out for that 68-79 win.
In the U19 B Boys Cup, Colaiste na Coiribe edged out Colaiste Pobail Bheanntraí (59-51). Big three-point scoring from game MVP, Cronan Ward along with a superb performance from Oisin Ó Gormaile were the difference for the Galway side. In the day’s other finals there was double disappointment for Limerick’s Laurel Hill who lost to St Louis of Carrickmacross in the U19C Girls final (39-37) and Donegal’s Coláiste Ailigh in the U16 C Girls decider (59-26).