On Thursday afternoon, our 2nd Year/U15 Boys Basketball team claimed the Basketball Ireland Schools South Regional Championship in the most dramatic fashion imaginable.
The team coached by Ms Crowne and assisted by U16 player Charlie Curran, went into the game on the back of a six from six winning streak in their pool, quarter final and semifinal. However, their opponents, St Aidans, had the exact same record, so both groups knew this would be a tight game in Neptune stadium. The game had a frantic start with some fantastic defense from both teams. There was not to be a score until the fourth minute of the first quarter and this went to St Aidans and the excellent Sean Noonan, who soon doubled the City teams tally. The four point lead St Aidans took was to be the biggest margin between two exceptionally honest teams, who were neck-and-neck for the remainder of the game. It was 8-8 after quarter one and 13-13 after quarter two. James Murphy and Cian Hayden were picking up big rebounds, Dan O’ Neill hit a huge three pointer to level the game. In the third quarter Oisín Murphy, Cillian Hurley, Shay O’ Donovan, Fionn Goggin and Adam Gillman Burke were fantastic and some great scoring from Charlie Swayne had the Bantry team leading 24-20 going into the final quarter. St Aidans then found a new gear, and in particular their star player Sean Noonan who had them back in the lead by a single point until there was eleven seconds left on the clock. At this point First Year Tom Conlon received an out let pass in his own half and dribbled up the wing where he found himself uncontested at the three point line where he hit the biggest shot of his basketball career so far, to the rapturous celebrations of the Bantry bench and supporters. However, St Aidans had one more offensive play and they found their way to the basket but missed the layup. The Bantry defense fouled which awarded the St Aidans boys two free throws to tie the game, and send it to overtime. Unfortunately for St Aidans the second free throw was missed and James Murphy took the rebound and ran the clock to the buzzer amid huge celebrations. Well done to both teams on a fantastic game of basketball and good luck to both in the All Ireland playoffs.