Basketball success for Galway schools

Four Galway schools enjoyed success at this year’s All Ireland finals with Calasanctius College and Presentation Athenry winning second-year titles.

Calasanctius College, Oranmore, claimed the 2nd Year A All-Ireland, beating rivals Castleisland Community College in the final, while Presentation College Athenry won the 2nd Year C All-Ireland, a first for the school.

In the 2nd Year B League, Coláiste Iognáid won their second bronze medal in two years, while Coláiste Éinde Salthill got one step further before losing by the narrowest of margins against Sliabh Luachra Rathmore in the final.

Athenry enjoyed a comprehensive 55-29 victory over Crescent Comprehensive at UL with star player JP McLoughlin the top scorer in both games. Presentation’s biggest challenge was to overcome favourites Colaiste na Sceilge from Kerry, and in a tight match, Athenry prevailed 27-21.

More confident going into the final, they outscored their opponents in each quarter. The feature of the final was that nine players contributed to the scoring to win by double scores.

The panel and scorers were Sean Coakley(2 ), Ben Concannon(8 ), Matthew Gardiner, Konrad Piotrowski(2 ), Niall Bree(15 ), Stephen Callaghan(4 ), Patrick Foley(16 ), Joe Morris(6 ), JPMcLoughlin(25 ), Peter Zabecki(2 ), Conor Campbell(2 ), and Kevin Wilde.

After suffering disappointment in last year’s final, Calasanctius College’s second year team gained revenge against their oponents from the previous year by 34-32.

In a thrilling match, Eoin Rockall stood out for Calasanctius. Despite the Calasanctius players being outsized by their bigger Kerry opponents, a combination of excellent outside shooting and an impressive fast break gave Calasanctius the narrowest of advantages.

After battling it out in the West Region, both Coláiste Iognáid and Coláiste Éinde qualified from their respective pools in the 2nd Year All-Ireland playoffs. However Sliabh Luachra Rathmore from Kerry got the better of both Galway sides.

It was back-to-back All-Ireland bronze medals for this talented Jes team who struggled for scores against Sliabh Luachra’s formidable zone defence. Although there were good performances from captains Brian Garvey and Davey Knight, along with impressive scores from Evan Somers, David Cunningham and Robert Finnerty, the Jes lost by 26-17.

Coláiste Éinde had better luck in their semi-final, winning by six points against Kerry side Pobalscoil Inbhear Sceine, Kenmare (32 – 38 ). However in the final Rathmore’s size was a major factor despite Kenneth Pesaitits being the outstanding player on the court. As well as his threat, Rory O’Neill and Jake Tiernan did a good job on the perimeter, but in a tight finish Coláiste Éinde lost out by a single point by 40-39.


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