St Malachy’s College put together a stunning final quarter en route to a 50-37 win over Intermediate School Killorglin in the U16A Boys All-Ireland League final at the National Basketball Arena.
The Belfast school endured a one-point defeat in the Subway Schools final a month previous, but were unstoppable down the stretch.
Head coach Philip Molloy admitted the cup heartache helped with motivation: “We’ve been in this kind of situation before,” he said. “It builds character and at the end of the day there’s more than basketball going on in these players’ lives.”
IS Killorglin had their own point to prove having gone from ‘B’ standard to an ‘A’ final in just 12 months but the Ulster school made their move in the fourth with a 12-0 run including a three-point play from Niall McGinnitty and a rare four-point play from Mathew Mulholland.
St Malachy’s U19B side were second best to a De La Salle Waterford side contesting their first All-Ireland decider after four semi-final defeats. De La Salle won the game 54-29.
CBS Thurles were 52-40 winners of an all- Tipperary final against Colaiste Dun Iascaigh of Cahir in the U16C Boys competition. The 2016 Cup winner knews better than to panic when trailing in the first quarter and took control in the second period through MVP Sean Mockler.
The U16B Girls of Colaiste Cholmcille Ballyshannon completed their league and cup double in dramatic style as a fast break and some nerveless free throws gave them a 31-29 win over Dominican College.
Andrea McGlynn pulled down a big rebound and hit the outlet pass for Tara Duffy to make a layup. As the arena howled with 20 seconds remaining, it was McGlynn who showed a cool head to win the game from the free-throw line.
St Paul’s Oughterard waited until the final quarter to reveal their cup-winning pedigree as they came from behind to beat Colaiste na Sceilge in the U19B Girls All-Ireland Schools League final. The Galway side were down six points with eight minutes left before a mix of determination and outside shooting brought them back into contention. It finished 37-34 to the newly crowned double champions.
Seosaimhin Casey book ended the final quarter with more nerveless free-throws and great rebounding to nail down the MVP award while Orlaith Walsh’s shooting touch was crucial in gaining parity.
U16C Boys All Ireland Schools League Final:
CBS Thurles 52, Colaiste Dún Iascaigh, Cahir 40.
U16A Boys All Ireland Schools League Final:
St. Malachy’s College Belfast 50 Intermediate School Killorglin 37.
U16B Girls All Ireland Schools League Final:
Colaiste Cholmcille, Ballyshannon 31 Dominican College, Galway 29.
U19B Girls All-Ireland Schools League Final:
St Paul’s Oughterard 37 Colaiste na Sceilge 34.
U19B Boys All Ireland Schools League Final:
De La Salle Waterford 54 St Malachy’s Belfast 29
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved