Kerry Diocesan Youth Service, in partnership with An Garda Siochána, hosted their 10th annual basketball blitz on Good Friday at Castleisland Community Centre.
The event was organised by Helena Falvey, Youth Justice Worker with KDYS and Garda Liz Twomey, Junior Liaison Officer, Castleisland Garda Station.
The event was hugely supported by participants, parents, volunteers and supporter again this year. Ten teams took part over in the following age groups: U-13, U-15 and U-18 with over 90 participants in total and some very thrilling games and finals.
Event sponsors on the day included: Vincent Murphy Sports; Garvey’s SuperValu and Centra and The Marketstall.
Aidan O’Mahony as Guest
Dancing with the Stars winner 2017 and former Kerry footballer, Aidan O’Mahony was present to assist with the event.
“This day would not be possible without the continued support of our loyal volunteers for the past ten years and it was fitting that they were honoured on the day with a special memento to mark the occasion,” said Garda Twomey.
“A special presentation was made to Eamon Egan, Maurice Casey, John Begley, Tommy Dom O’ Connor and Majella Ahern.
“They all refereed on the day along with Garda Mary Gardiner Tralee Community Policing; Roisin Casey and Nathan Egan.
“Thanks to those who assisted with the clock and score sheet: Micheál Murphy, Tommy Boyle, Jack Curran, Nicole Downey, Sarah O Sullivan and Millie Luck.
Satisfied with Refreshments
“KDYS Youth Justice Worker, Geraldine O’Meara kept everyone satisfied with refreshments during the tournament.
“Thanks to Gardaí Cecilia Scanlon, Michael Courtney, Mike Costello, Stephen Kelly and Sgt. Eileen O’Sullivan for assisting with the event.
“This event is a huge success and is supported locally every year. It is true testament of the love Castleisland and its surrounding areas have for basketball and supporting youth activity over the Easter holidays,” said Garda Twomey.
Round Robin Games
In the primary games section there were three teams which played a round robin of games with the top two going into the final.
Teams taking part were: Warriors, The Mixers and Knockaderry. Warriors and Knockaderry made it to the final.
The game plan of Warrior manager, Joanne Downey proved the difference with her team rowing in behind the plan to come out on top.
Teams Level Twice
This was a very exciting game with the teams level twice in the first half and Knockaderry up 5-4 at half time.
The second half belonged to Warriors and they won 22-5. Captains Mint O’Connor and Muireann Walsh accepted the trophy for the winners.
Warriors team included: Cian Downey, Evan Brennan, Chris Devane, Eoghan Shire, Ciara Casey and Amy McCarthy. MVP: Eoghan Shire. Runners up, Knockaderry: Noah Moynihan, Luke Henderson, Daithí O’Shea, Orna O’Leary, Claire McCarthy, Colm Riordan, Colin Callaghan and Simon O’Leary.
In the U-15 category five teams in the group each got four games with top two going through to the final.
Participating teams: 8 Degrees; Scart Offenders; Tech 1st Years; District Blazers and Bulls.
These games were intense with scores, pace and defending. Quite a few games ended in draws and the top two teams at the end of the rounds were Bulls and Blazers.Two teams of friends who battled it out for the 2018 title.
Blazers Upped a Gear
At half time it was 6-5 to Bulls and, in the second half, Blazers found another gear and pulled ahead to win 25-5.
The trophy was present to the winning team by Garda Aidan O Mahony. The team included: Adam Healy, Bryan Roche, Sean Cronin, Darren Deniel, Cathal Culloty, Aoife Kerins, Jane Lawlor, Hillary O’Connor and Aoife Walsh. MVP: Cathal Culloty.
Runners Up: Bulls included: Peter Burke, Jonathan Kerins, Justin McCarthy, Patrick Roche, Shane Óg McGaley, John Curtin, Adam Kelly, Ava Fitzmaurice and Ellie Lenihan.
Firies Triumph Over Castleisland
Finally, in the U-18 section we had two teams and they played round one and then the final, the teams participating were Basket Hounds and Dominos in a Firies V Castleisland final.
The Castleisland team has been taking part since the blitz began. Even though they don’t play competitively with the club they gave it everything on the day but were outclass by basketballers of Firies.
10th Blitz a Huge Success
The final ended 14-2 to Baskethounds. Team Baskethounds: Trevor O’Shea, Shane Callaghan, John O’Rourke, Emer Riordan, Roisín Daniel and Tadgh Riordan. Coach Valerie Callaghan O’Shea. MVP: Roisin Daniel.
Runners up Domino’s: Dominic Prendiville, captain; Kenneth O’Connor, Jordan O’Connor, Daniel Costello, Darren Maunsell and Gabriel O’Brien.
“Thanks to everyone who assisted with making the 10th anniversary of the blitz a huge success.
Thanks to all the teams who played, to the coaches, parents, volunteers without everyone working together this would not be the success it is,” Garda Twomey concluded.
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