The Portlaoise boys U-12 team played host to Athlone in this months Midland Area League blitz.
Both teams were lying joint second on the League table thanks to one win each in their previous two league games. Portlaoise started the better with early baskets from Dara Ramsbottom and Sam Wynne.
As the quarter went on Portlaoise were dominating with good work from Daragh Beere and their ball handler James Connolly. Athlone came into the game with good shooting from Richard Byrne and Declan Canty while Portlaoise opened up a seven-point gap thanks to three consecutive baskets from Darragh Buggie.
The second quarter saw Athlone up the tempo with good scores from Thomas Coogan. Portlaoise continued to battle hard to maintain their lead with good work from Niall Fitzpatrick and Damien Moore. As the halftime whistle approached the home held a four point lead thanks to good work from Jake Conroy and Matthew Delaney.
The second half saw Portlaoise come out strong with early baskets from Ben Conroy and James Connolly. In hindsight the game was won and lost in this quarter as the Portlaoise lads put 14 points on the scoreboard and impressively held Athlone scoreless.
Portlaoise baskets came from Sam Wynne and Daragh Buggie got three great scores to see him top scorer of the game with an excellent 12 points. In the last quarter Athlone to their credit battle hard and were rewarded with baskets from Sean Lawless and Thomas Coogan.
Portlaoise seemed to lose concentration and were guilty of poor marking to let the Athlone boys right back into the game.A time out to concentrate the minds worked and baskets from Davin McEvoy and their captain Damien Moore settled the home team as they went on to control the final couple of minutes to go on to a well deserved win that sees them in second place of the Midland Area League with one blitz to go.
Team: Damien Moore (C), Davin McEvoy (VC), Kurt Dinneen Caroll, Sam Wynne, Christian Kenny Oman, Matthew Delaney, James Connolly, Dara Ramsbottom, Daragh Buggie, Jake Conroy, Ben Conroy, Darragh Beere, Luke Thompson, Niall Fitzpatrick.