1st & 2nd Years Qualify As Basketball Finals Postponed

1st Year A Team – Copy

Last week three teams at Our Lady’s College were competing in semi-finals.  Their main aim to join the 2nd Year, Division 1 team, who have already qualified for the finals.  The 1st team in action was the 1st Year A team, and their opponents were St. Raphaela’s from Stillorgan.  The team headed to ALSAA Sports Complex, as semis are played in a neutral venue.  Sarah Red opened the scoring and with Ella Carter and Anitah Kembo chipping in they led 6-0.  The next five players on the floor, stormed out of the blocks and scored 16 points, while also keeping St. Raphaela’s scoreless.  The second half followed a similar pattern, with the Southsiders having no response.  They qualified for their 1st final, on a score line of 38-0.

TEAM & SCORES: Sarah Bäck-Herke 2; Ella Carter 6; Aisling Crinion 2; Nicole Flynn; Madison Gaffney; Ali Gardiner; Rama Harrak 6; Yasmin Ibrahim; Aoife Kane 4; Anitah Kembo 2; Isabelle Matthews (injured); Leah McElearney; Catherine Moore; Sarah Red 2; Eili Ryan 4 and Lily Sheeran 10.

The following day, two teams headed to Maryfield College for their semi-finals.  They would both play St. Mary’s, from Glasnevin.  The 1st Year B team was first to the floor, and a win here would see them compete for the Division 2 title against the A team.  It was a slow start for both teams, with Kelly Anne Kinsella their only scorer, leaving St. Mary’s leading 3-2.  A stronger 2nd quarter by the next 5 players to take to the court, saw the side lead 12-9.  While point guard Emma McGrane was very strong on the ball here, it was the defence of Alex Healy on keeping St. Mary’s post player quiet, that gave them the advantage.  The 3rd quarter saw the Dubliners outscore the Boynesiders 6 points to 3, leaving the game all tied going into the final quarter.  Again, Healy and Aisling McCartan-Smith were doing a great job on keeping their top scorer away from the ball.  Frustration got the better of the player, which led to an incident off the ball.  However, both referees failed to see this event, which should have seen the player disqualified.   The scores were tied at 19 points each going into the last 15 seconds when St. Mary’s Beatrix Misota scored a basket under their boards.  There was not enough time remaining for this remarkable team to get another basket, and they lost this one 19-21.  There were, understandably, a lot of very disappointed players at the final whistle, having come so close.  This bunch of players will bounce back after this and be a stronger team next season.

TEAM & SCORES: Joy Chuks; Kathlyn Conroy; Arianne Flynn 2; Eva Fox 2; Elsa Goodwin; Emma Gorman; Lana Hanratty; Alex Healy; Kelly-Anne Kinsella 2; Karina Lygmalyte; Abi McCartan-Smith; Ashleigh McCartan-Smith 2; Laura McGinnity 1; Emma McGrane 5; Aoibheann Steenson; Hollie Stone and Erika Villaverde.

The 2nd Years watched in the wings at the 1st Year match and came to the floor determined to win their game.  Queen Agunloye was quickest out of the blocks and had scored 6 points before St. Mary’s had time to take a breath.  They did manage to score 2 baskets ahead of Captain, Leisha Archbold added 4 more points for her side.  The quarter finishing with the Boynesiders 12-4 ahead.  A different 5 players took to the floor for the 2nd quarter, and these players were slower to adjust to the game, Sophie McNally was the only player to score for her team.  The Glasnevin side outscored the girls 6 points to 3 in the 3rd quarter, leaving a score line of 17-12 going into the final 7 minutes.  Both sides picked up the pace once again, as they traded basket for basket.   The lead was 7 points with one-minute remaining on the clock, but a lapse in concentration by the ‘College’ allowed St. Mary’s to score two quick baskets, before the final whistle sounded.  They hung on to win 27-23 and thoroughly deserved their place in the 2nd Division Final.  Queen Agunloye scored a career high of 12 points. This team lost last year’s finals, having been beaten by their own schools A team, so every credit is due to them for coming back just as strong this season.

TEAM & SCORES: Captain, Leisha Archbold 6; Queen Agunloye 12; Katie Connolly: Emily Fitzpatrick; Liana Karkle; Aine Marron 2; Abbey McDonnell; Sarah McGrath; Sophie McNally 7 and Kuhle Mdlalo.

Unfortunately, Covid19 then hit the country and Basketball Ireland announced all Basketball activities were to be suspended with immediate effect, followed by the school closures.  This is absolutely the right decision in the current climate, and while players were initially disappointed, they fully understand the decisions.  The S.S.A. Basketball Committee have postponed the finals so all we have to do now is wait it out.

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