The age old ritual of basketball teams returning to Castleisland in triumph opened a brand new chapter on Sunday evening.
This time because the St. Mary’s U-14 Girls came home with the All Ireland ‘A’ Club Championship title.
Then, following a well set pattern, cup bearing, medal wearing champions are paraded up and down Main Street – it’s tradition – you see.
Take the Salutes
Perched out of car and jeep doors, horns blaring and with parents and grandparents understandably wide-eyed and probably more excited than their chilled out, super cool heroines.
The victors take the salutes of bemused locals and baffled visitors – some of whom ask, as in the line from Waltzing Matilda, ‘What are they parading for.’
Congratulations to the girls, their parents, their club and their coach. Winning an All-Ireland title is such a wonderful achievement and, as a bonding and confidence building experience, it doesn’t get any better. May it stand them in good stead as they progress in their lives and careers.
Proud club PRO, Liz Galwey sent the following report.
All Ireland Victory for St. Mary’s
St. Mary’s Basketball Club added yet another national title to its tally at the weekend when the U-14 girls won the ‘A’ All Ireland Club Championship title on Sunday at Brunell. Basketball Club in Cork.
The girls have gone unbeaten for 19 consecutive games and the run includes wins in the county league and cup as well as the St. Mary’s Blitz and now the All Ireland championship.
Things looked bleak at the start of the weekend as team member, Aoife Walsh had her appendix removed on Friday and Aoife Kerins picked up an ankle injury in the qualifying games on Saturday.
Met the Host Club
However, the girls had wins over Meteors of Dublin and Titans of Galway to secure a place in Sunday’s semi-final.
The game was a cracker and went down to the wire as St. Mary’s met the host club, Brunell.
After after a hard fought battle they took the game by a single point. They went on to have a comprehensive win over St. Colm’s of Limerick in the final winning 38 points to 25.
Reputable Coach, Tommy Dom
The team is coached by a man who is no stranger to All-Ireland titles, Tommy Dom O’Connor. Tommy Dom has proven himself as a reputable coach several times over the years.
He has taken the club and town to All-Ireland victories several times over the years. In 2004 he coached the senior ladies to the All-Ireland club victory. Then he coached the winning national league ladies team of 2012, in addition to this he had coached several winning community games teams down the years.
Second Juvenile Victory
This was the club’s second juvenile victory in this competition. The U-14 girls were winners in 2015 when coached by Denny Porter and George O’Connor.
St. Mary’s has also had wins at ‘B’ level with Maurice Casey, Paudie Fleming, Joanne Downey, Joanne Walmsley and Tommy Dom as coaches.
Team members of this year’s winning squad are: Olga O’Sullivan, Leah Boyle, Paris McCarthy, Aoife Kerins, Jane Lawlor, Emma Kerin, Abbie Mahony, Aoife Walsh, Hanna Herlihy, Grainne Walsh, captain; Rachel O’Sullivan, Katie O’Connor and Shauna Tangney.
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