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Coláiste Oiriall Under 16 Girls ‘ Basketball team will play Mercy Convent Secondary School, Ballymahon in the All-Ireland C final next Wednesday in the National Basketball Arena, Tallaght

U16 Colaiste Oiriall League Girls 2 - Copy

 

Last Friday the girls battled fiercely against Pobalscoil Sceine Inbhear in the All Ireland semi-final held in Canon Hayes Centre in Tipperary for a place in the keenly contested All-Ireland final. The Coláiste Oiriall girls had been narrowly defeated by this team in the All Ireland Schools’ Cup final earlier in the year and were determined to rectify the result this time round.

Coláiste Oiriall started the game the stronger by going full court press and by stealing some early baskets through Lynda Ni Ghiolla Mhicil, Ellen Ni Bhriain and Amy Ni hAmaill. Pobalscoil Sceine Inbhear were shocked as the Oiriall girls raced into a 7 – 0 lead. The Kenmare girls showed their composure however and listened intently to their coach Bríd Slattery during an early time out which saw them take to the floor and convert some easy scores. The intensity and pace in the game was unbelievable and both teams were picking up clumsy fouls. Coláiste Oiriall looked in trouble as Ellen Ni Bhriain had an offensive foul called on her to bring her tally to two fouls so early in the game. Lianne Nic An BHaird also picked up an early foul which gave Kenmare the advantage of team shots.

The energetic pace continued in the second half and both teams played extremely tough defence. The pressure continued to mout as did the foul count with both teams visiting the free throw line on a number of occasions. The end of the fourth quarter saw the teams swop baskets and both happy to hear the final buzzer on level scores. Coláiste Oiriall were to carry an advantage into extra time as Kenmare now had a key player fouled out.

In the final seconds of extra time Amy Ni hAmaill fouled her player momentarily forgetting that her team were on team fouls. This saw Kenmare player Clodagh Houlihan take to the line for two free throws with one second left on the clock and her team trailing by one point. With pressure mounting on the free throw shooter to clinch the game she missed the first shot to the relief of the Oiriall supporters. Clodagh had a chance to level the game still with her final shot but nerves got the better of her and the shot fell short.

The Coláiste Oiriall girls held possession until the final whistle blew and came out victorious by the single point. The girls will now play Mercy Ballymahon in the All Ireland Final next Wednesday in the National Basketball Arena. Hopefully the experience of an All-Ireland Final earlier this year will stand to the girls and that the heart break of losing will spurn them on to go one further this time round. Ag guí ádh mór ar na cailíní agus ar Annette ar an Chéadaoin seo chugainn san Ionad Náisiúnta Cispheile