On Thursday our under 16 boys basketball team made the trip to the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght, along with a large group of supporters to play Coláiste Mhuire Mháthair of Galway, in the Alll Ireland under 16 final. The game started with great pace with both teams trading scores. While CMM Galway went in at the end of the first quarter with ten points, the Bantry boys had. Seven, with six of those Coming from Charlie Curran drives to the basket and one from a Jack Phillips free throw. Cathal McCarthy was coping extremely well on defense with the 6’6 Nathan Gbignie and Paddy Russel along with James Murphy were rebounding brilliantly. The second and third quarters were difficult for the Bantry boys with the infamous rims in the National Arena proving why they are dreaded by many the senior international player, never mind an under 16. The free flowing shooting game that the boys are known for just wouldnt provide the scores and they only mustered up 20 points in quarters 2 and 3 combined compared to the Galway boy’s 33 in the same two quarters. This left them with a hill to climb in the final quarter. But climb it they did and were outstanding in the final quarter with a 24 point display which got them to within 4 points. Paddy Russell came up with some huge scores in a game where he excelled, James Murphy added, Jack Phillips hit a long two and a three in succession while James Keane found his form also and Charlie Curran hit two big three pointers to get Coláiste Pobail within 4 points of a tiring Galway team. The final minute was frantic and it looked like the Bantry Boys were about to pull off an incredible comeback but a massive three pointer from MVP Colm Davoran sealed the win for the West of Ireland outfit.
Huge congratulations must go to the Bantry Boys who never gave up and almost did it in the end.
Team and top three scorers
Charlie Curran (18 points)
Jack Phillips (15 points)
Paddy Russell (8 points)
James Keane (8 points)
A huge thanks to Sophie O’ Sullivan and Leah O’ Shea for the reporting all week and to Miss O’ Grady for the great photos.