Double glory for Scoil Chríost Rí, Portlaoise in basketball thriller - Match Report

Express Reporter

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Express Reporter

Double glory for Scoil Chriost Ri in basketball thriller - Match Report

Winners Scoil Chriost Ri ©Rockmountain Studios

U16A Girls Scoil Chríost Rí, Portlaoise (Laois) 42-35 Presentation SS, Castleisland (Kerry)

There was double glory for Scoil Chríost Rí this afternoon as both schools successfully completed All Ireland doubles this season, winning both the Cup and League titles at Under 16 A.

Basketball - Portlaoise school's 'dominant display' wins All-Ireland title.

Scoil Chriost Ri added another All Ireland title to their collection by winning the Under 16 A Girls League on Thursday with a 42-35 victory over Presentation SS, Castleisland in a thriller.

A superb MVP display from Jasmine Burke saw her put in a very solid display under the boards to keep her side in front in the face of a hard-working and tenacious Castleisland side and it was neck-in-neck right up until the fourth quarter, until the Laois school pulled out in front.

Pic ©Rockmountain Studios

Indeed, it was the Portlaoise side who got off to the better start as Burke got them off the mark with a hard-fought score.

Both teams battled hard to find chances early on, as Chríost Rí’s aggressive man-to-man defence kept Pres Castleisland’s scores in check, and they finished ahead by 8-2 after the first.

THE GAME IN PICTURES

The second quarter saw a more composed and eager Castleisland team hit the floor as Emma O'Regan and Grainne Walsh stamped their authority on the game, battling hard on rebounds and possession.

More tough work from Castleisland in the closing minutes of the second quarter kept the intensity high, as a long shot from Gemma Kearney dropped and saw Castleisland take their first lead of the game.

Chríost Rí weren’t finished yet though as a foul on Grainne O’Reilly sent her to the free throw line to bring her side ahead once more, finishing the quarter up 23-18.

It was all left to play for in the third quarter, with Emma O'Regan the standout star for Castleisland and her drives to the basket began to chip into the Portlaoise lead.

Superb defence from Ciara Fitzgerald forced a number of turnovers, before a switch up by Portlaoise coach Pat Critchley on defence finally disrupted their momentum. Burke, Shauna Dooley and Ciara Byrne began to notch up the scores for Chriost Ri once more and as the fourth quarter got underway, they widened the gap to nine points. 

Huge performances from Ciara Byrne, Sarah Flemming and Grainne O’Reilly in the last stretched Portlaoise's lead out, and despite super work from O'Regan, Grainne Walsh and Hillary O'Connor, Portlaoise won out 42-35, scooping their second piece of silverware this year.

WATCH MATCH AGAIN HERE

Scoil Chríost Rí, Portlaoise: Shauna Dooley (10), Grainne O’Reilly (4), Jasmine Burke (8), Jade Burke, Sinead Brady, Sinead Murphy, Rebecca Reddin (5), Rachel Glynn, Ciara Byrne (5), Sarah Fleming (10), Ella Byrne, Munirat Showobale, Jessica Preston, Eleanor Healy

Presentation SS, Castleisland: Grainne Walsh (12), Emma O Regan (9), Gemma Kearney (8), Ciara Fitzgerald (2), Maire O Connor, Aine Sheehan (2), Hillary O Connor (2), Katie O Connor, Aoife Kerins

MVP: Jasmine Burke (Scoil Chriost Ri)