West boys bring schools title back to Galway
Western Region 48 Northern Region 38
Pictured: Back Row (L-R): Ross Conboy (assistant coach), David Cunningham, Mo Bei Du, Adam Cox, Connor Curran, John Hackett, David Kelly, Kenneth Pesaitis, Stephen Commins, Adrian O'Neill (coach). Front Row (L-R): Diarmuid Byrne, Oisin Doyle, Eoghan Kelly, Max Brennan, Eoin Rockall (captain), Ciaran Blaney, Ronan Clancy.
Several players from Galway have been selected on Irish youth basketball squads after the West Region defeated their northern counterparts in the final of the Basketball Ireland Post-Primary Schools’ u-15 Tom Collins' Interregionals.
Conor Curran and John Hackett (Bish), Eoin Rockall (Maree), David Kelly (St Paul’s Oughterard have been named on the boys’ u-15 squad, while Moycullen’s Catherine Connaire and Aine McDonagh have been selected on the girls’ squad.
In the pool stages the West, coached by Adrian O’Neill and Ross Conboy, defeated a much-fancied Southern Region with St Mary’s College's Eoghan Kelly, the Bish's Ciaran Blaney and John Hackett contributing to the victory. A comfortable win over the Midlands set up a Sunday semi-final against the Eastern team. West captain and tournament MVP from Calasanctius, Eoin Rockall, led by example while Ronan Clancy, Diarmuid Byrne and Adam Cox, and Oughterard’s David Kelly helped secure a place for the West in the final where they faced an impressive Northern team that boasts many stars from St Malachy’s College and St Mary’s College in Belfast.
In a tense final, both sides were level going into the final quarter, but the West showed great composure to win the fourth quarter by 10 points to bring the trophy back to Galway for the first time since 2006.
It is all the more impressive since the West had to play the final without the Bish’s co-captain Conor Curran who fractured his ankle in the semi-final.