CRESCENT College Comprehensive Limerick powered home in the fourth quarter to win the SUBWAY® All Ireland Schools U15A Girls Cup with a 39-22 win over Coláiste Íosagáin at the National Basketball Arena.
The Limerick side featured nine members of the squad that were runners up in the Subway Schools All Ireland U14A Girls Cup Final in April and three of the side started against a well-drilled Coláiste Íosagáin. Both sides settled early as Eabha Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh was successful with Íosagáin’s first attempt before Lauren Walsh replied on the next possession.
The Dubliners enjoyed a 7-2 lead midway through the first quarter. Sian± Ní Shíocháin showed a light touch to get her shot away under pressure but it pre-empted a 13-0 run from Crescent. The Limerick girls found a rhythm as Laura Stapleton drained a three and threw the next assist for Amy O’Byrne. Aoife Morrissey made a fine layup in traffic and all of a sudden Coláiste Íosagáin were trailing 15-9 for the first quarter.
Íosagáin opened the second quarter with intent and a fine basket from Suzie Ni Cheallaigh and Julie Ní Dhúgáin’s score in the 10th minute of action kept the game within two baskets.
Crescent looked keen to press on and had the strength in depth to do it. Mia Ní Cheallaigh came off the bench to hit a couple of scores before fellow substitute Eve Neylon spun into the low post for two and followed up soon after with a fine euro-step up the middle.
The Stillorgan students were staring down a 10 point deficit at half-time but spurred on by their fans singing ‘Óró, sé do bheatha ‘bhaile’ looked right at home at the National Basketball Arena in the third quarter. Their locked up Crescent and kept them scoreless for the period as further baskets from Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh and Ní Dhúgáin brought it back to 23-17 with seven minutes left.
Crescent Coach Tony Hehir called on his troops to finish it in the fourth. It got worse before it got better as Meadbh Ní Fhaoláin narrowed the gap to four points but five players stepped up to score an 11-1 run of speed and determination sealed the win.
“I think we just wanted to win too much at some stages,” said Hehir. “Íosagáin gave it everything and really clawed it back but after bronze and silver already this year, it’s great to finish off with a gold medal.”
Speaking at the prize presentation, Muriel O’Grady, Development Agent SUBWAY® Ireland said:
“Congratulations to the newly crowned SUBWAY® All-Ireland Schools’ Cup champions, Crescent College Comprehensive, who defeated, Coláiste Íosagáin in an exciting final that took place in the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght today.
The skill and sportsmanship of all the schools participating in this week’s finals has been hugely impressive and their schoolmates, who travelled from all over the country to support their teams, should also be congratulated.
The SUBWAY® brand and our network of franchisees all over Ireland are very proud to be supporting basketball in schools throughout Ireland and already looking forward to next year’s competition”.
Coláiste Íosagáin: G de Nais (1), N Ní Chinnéide, E Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh (8), M Ní Ghormáin (2), S Ní Shíocháin (3).
Substitutes: M Basquille, M Ní Fhaoláin (2), M Ní Cheallaigh, J Ní Dhúgáin (4), C Ní Ghraolaigh , M Breathnach, S Ní Cheallaigh (2). Coach: Ken Moloney
Crescent College Comprehensive: J Edwards, L Walsh (6), L Stapleton (9), A O’Byrne (2), A Morrissey (6).
Substitutes: E Neylon (10), H Dundon, S Moore, E Lane (6), T Nealon, M Whelan, R Buckley. Coach: Tony Hehir
HT: Crescent College Comprehensive Limerick 23, Coláiste Íosagáin Stillorgan 13