An inspiring all round performance from Clonaslee College saw the Laois team crowned All Ireland U16 C Girls Schools League Champions after their triumphant win over Aquinas Grammar School, 47-21.
Clonaslee’s Laura Hogan, received the ‘MVP’ award finishing with a total of 19 points. Hogan, who was the focal point for Clonaslee’s success, played the game from start to finish in a determined manner in order to bring the title back to her school.
With both teams arriving armed with a mass of supporters, the atmosphere alone set the pace for this eventful All Ireland Final. However, it was Clonaslee College that came off the bench all guns blazing as Hogan hit the opening shot.
Aquinas Grammar School soon responded with Roisin Murray hitting both free throws that she was awarded. Unfortunately, these were the only points her side netted in the first quarter as the scoreline finished 8-2 to Clonaslee.
As the game progressed Hogan rose to the challenge and scored a powerful 9 points in the second quarter. Teammate Heather Conroy also chipped in as she continued to attack the gaps in the key to help increase their lead further and end the half 25 – 8 ahead.
Coming into the second half Aquinas were not about to roll over and give up, with big scores from Aislinn McFarland and a huge three pointer from Laoise Carey, Clonaslee began to feel the pressure of maintaining their lead.
The Belfast side increased their defensive pressure and although they challenged every shot and drove on each loose ball they failed to execute on the boards as Clonaslee picked up vital offensive rebounds which saw them convert them into key baskets.
Clonaslee’s Conroy continued to push the ball up the floor and not only did she hit some magnificent shots but she also fed her teammates with smooth full court passes to seal the deal and bring the title home to Laois.
The final score was 47 - 21.
Aquinas Grammar School (Belfast) 21 (8) (Roisin Murray & Aislinn McFarland 6, Laoise Carey 3) Clonaslee College (Laois) 47 (24) (Laura Hogan 19, Meaghan Dunne 19, Heather Conroy 9)
MVP; Laura Hogan (Clonaslee College)