For the second year in succession a first years boys’ team from St. Patrick’s Secondary School here in Castleisland has won the All Ireland ‘A’ Schools’ Basketball title. The crucial games were played in the UL Arena Limerick last weekend. This is the third such title for the school in the last four years and it stands as a remarkable achievement for the College Road establishment.
The St. Patrick’s boys qualified for the All Ireland series by winning the South West Regional title a few weeks ago. The All Ireland series was played over two days on Sunday and Monday May 3rd and 4th.
On the Sunday the St. Patrick’s boys had a very successful day winning all three matches, defeating Patrician College Newbridge 35-14 before dealing with St. Malachy’s Belfast 35-24 and Belvedere College, Dublin 36-10.
They were now through to the quarter final on Monday morning against Templeogue College, Dublin which the Kerry boys won 43 -32. This set up a semi- final pairing with old rivals St. Joseph’s The Bish of Galway.
This was a very close contest with very little between the sides throughout and with minutes remaining on the clock and St. Patrick’s up by two it was too close to call. Then, an excellent three pointer from captain, Garry O’Sullivan secured a place in the final.
The final was a match up against St. Malachy’s of Belfast and the first half was a very tight contest with very little between the sides at the break. St. Patrick’s in front 19 – 14. The Kerry boys took control in the second half as the Belfast boys began to fade and with an excellent display from Dónal Geaney – scoring 18 points – the St. Patrick’s boys were crowned champions.
“This is a victory richly deserved by the St. Patrick’s team as they have put in huge time and commitment to training during the year after school and during holidays and with excellent commitment from their teachers: Joanne Casey and Katie O’Connor and coached superbly by Denny Porter whose commitment to the school is hugely appreciated. Well done to all involved,” said the delighted principal, Denis O’Donovan.