St Mary’s Basketball Club was proud to have had all four teams representing Kerry in the All Ireland Club Championships on the weekend of April 12th / 13th. A great return of three cups and three MVP awards saw St. Mary’s add an outstanding 22 titles to the club’s history for the 13/14 season. A delighted Joanne Downey compiled the following report on the couple of days which is being referred to and will be remembered locally as ‘All-Ireland Weekend.’
“Our U-16 girls travelled to Portlaoise where their first game was against Kestrels and the girls finished strong on a 44-29 point win. Next game saw Ulster Elks take the win on a hard fought game 27-22. In the Div 2 semi-final the girls met a strong Fr. Matthews team and Matthews took the win on 48-34. The girls fought back in the 3rd/4th place playoff to beat Portlaoise Panthers 39-31 to take 3rd place. Well done to all the girls and to their coaches Denny Porter and George O’Connor.
Our U-16 boys travelled to Belfast, beating Kiltimagh Giants 64-33 in their first game. Sligo All Stars taking the next game on a scoreline of 51-45 saw our boys into the Div 2 semi-final. Here they faced the home side, Belfast Star. An exciting game to watch as the sides were evenly matched with both scoring well. A basket by Belfast in the dying seconds sent the game into 3 minutes of over-time. The game continued at a frantic pace with each side looking to book a place in the final. At the final whistle it was Mary’s that were victorious 49 – 46. In the final they met Drogheda Bullets with Mary’s getting a lead very quickly but the Bullets were having none of it and were up four at the end of the first quarter.
Drogheda kept the lead for most of the game but some accurate 3point shooting and good defending from St.Mary’s kept them in touch as the final whistle blew. Winning 51-49. The golden ball went to St Mary’s MVP Adam Donoghue. Well done to all the boys and their coaches Declan Cahill and Darragh Jones.
Our U-14 boys brought home another cup from Dublin. First up they met Portlaoise Panthers winning on a scoreline of 75-38. Second game was a great battle with Templogue taking the game on a scoreline of 49-48. The div 2 semi final saw them take on East Cavan Eagles St Mary’s taking the place in the final 43-32. In the final they took on Belfast Star proving too strong winning on a scoreline of 42-27. David Shanahan was crowned MVP receiving the golden ball and Sean O’Connell received the cup on behalf of St Mary’s. Well done to all the boys and their coach, Tommy Dom O Connor.
Our U-14 girls were proud to take to their own court in Castleisland over that weekend. St Mary’s had a first tough game meeting the eventual overall winners Liffey Celtics. Liffey were a strong side but St Mary’s battled hard with only 3 points separating the teams at half time. But Liffey outside 3s helped them seal victory on a 47-33 scoreline. Next up the girls faced Longford Falcons. St Mary’s really dominated this game winning 56-14. In the div 2 semi final they faced Ulster Elks winning on a scoreline of 48-35. On Sunday in Tralee they met the local side TK Cougars in the div 2 final. These girls were no strangers to each other meeting for the 4th time this season. TK Cougars fought hard dominating the first half of the game leading by 2 points at the half time break.
St Mary’s showed experience in the second half of the match battling hard under the boards and running out worthy winners on a 14 point lead 41-27. Well done to both teams from Kerry on an exciting final. Kayla O’Connor picked up the golden ball for MVP much deserved to a girl who battled hard all weekend. Nicole Downey and Labhaoise Walmsley were delighted to accept the cup on behalf of St Mary’s. Well done to all the girls and to their coaches Joanne Walmsley and Joanne Downey.”