Galway’s Colaiste na Coiribe suffered a heartbreaking defeat to St Vincent’s Castleknock College 51 in the final of the U16C schools basketball final on Monday.
Losing by a single point, 51-50, Colaiste na Coiribe had the opportunity to grab the winner, but they were unable to convert free throws at the death as Castleknock clung on.
It was a nail-biting finish to this Subway U16C schools decider at the National Basketball arena as the Galway school had overcome a poor start to level by the end of the third quarter. Colaiste na Coiribe’s Oisín Ó Gormaile was not far behind with 22.
St Vincent’s Castleknock took advantage of Coláiste na Coiribe’s early nerves as they stormed through the first quarter.
It was a mixture of Castleknock’s great defence and Coláiste na Coiribe’s missed chances that led to St Vincent’s 2-11 lead at the end of the quarter.
Coláiste na Coiribe started the second quarter much better, led by the immensely talented Oisín Ó Gormaile. Multiple steals from him led to fast break scores for the boys from Galway while at the other end strong rebounding from Castleknock’s Ulo Eruma Gborie and UG Roland-Onuoha led to multiple scores, and this is what separated the two sides throughout the game.
St Vincent’s led 22-25 at the end of the first half with Gborie and Onuoha a huge factor on the offensive boards as they helped their team with a mix of scores, rebounds and blocks. However Ó Gormaile took control for the Galway school, taking advantage of his knowledge of the court and picking up a couple of steals. Coláiste na Coiribe’s Cronan Mac an Bháird made three huge shots in succession towards the end of the quarter and by the end of the third the score was all tied at 38-38.
The fourth quarter was a nail-biting experience as St Vincent’s and Coláiste na Coiribe traded scores right up until the last minute of the game.
St Vincent’s stars Gborie and Onuoha exchanged scores with Ó Gormaile and Mac an Bháird to put on a show for the crowd.
MVP UG Roland-Onuoha produced a huge three-pointer to break the deadlock with one minute remaining on the clock. This, however, did not phase Coláiste na Coiribe as they attacked with the same ferocity as they had all game.
A huge block from St Vincent’s Ulo Eruma Gborie started to put doubt in the minds of the Galway boys, but they maintained the intensity. They had multiple free-throws in the final minute, but were unable to convert, and although Ó Gormaile had a shot at the buzzer to win the game, good defence from St Vincent’s Castleknock made it difficult for him and put an end to a thrilling final.
Coláiste na Coiribe: Cronan Mac an Bháird (16 ), Oisín Ó Gormaile (22 ), Cathal Ó Maidín (7 ), Conor Ó Bruada, Máirtín Ó Conghalaigh (5 ), John McLoughlin, Seamus Mc Loughlin, Zak Rather, Ross Ó Nullain, Xav Ó Cléirigh, Eoin Ó Domhnaill, Eoin Farrchair.
St Vincent’s Castleknock College: Louis Farrell, UG Roland-Onuoha (25 ), Jack Hensey (7 ), Ulo Eruma Gborie (6 ), Oscar Brown (3 ), Michael Gilvarry, Oisin Tierney (6 ), Cathal MacCanna, Hasan AlMaghrabi, Ronan Barrett (2 ), Andrew Cunningham, Elvis Duru (2 ) MVP: UG Roland-Onuoha.