(Galway ) 50
College (Bray ) 43
The Bish have been crowned All-Ireland 1st Year Abasketball champions after a pulsating final against Presentation Bray at the University of Limerick Arena.
Bish captain Patrick Lyons received the MVP award for the game, and the team can now prepare for travelling to Washington and Annapolis in October to play in several American basketball tournaments as undefeated Irish national champions.
Coach Tom O’ Malley said: “These guys are magnificent. They remained so focused throughout each game, they knew the title was the goal, and they are such worthy winners. We are all so proud of them.”
The Bish opened the final in impressive style, and good defence, fast breaks, and steals had the Galway school in front with baskets from Patrick Lyons and Evan McGuire. Steven O’Brien was in excellent form with his outside shooting, while Seamus Garrity controlled the point position in the second quarter. Conall Morgan and Sean Candon distributed the ball to free up shooters, and both scored some fine baskets when open.
Bray’s Anthony Bartley who used his 6’3’’ frame to full effect under the boards and Luke Gorman who scored 12 points kept Bray in the game as the first half finished with a 10-point lead for the Bish.
Bray, however, fought back in the third, briefly taking the lead, but the Bish, under the stewardship of co-captain Cathal Evans and captain Patrick Lyons, slowly regained control due to some great defensive boards from post players Sean O Sullivan and Michael Conneely.
The fourth quarter began with the teams tied at 33 points, but the Bish, with the title within sight, went into overdrive, scoring 17 points in the final quarter. Presentation Bray had no answer to the skill, organisation, and determination of the Bish onslaught, and with four minutes remaining, a three-pointer from Steven O’Brien effectively finished the game and secured a first national A basketball title for the Galway school.
St Joseph’s College: Sean Candon, Seamus Garrity, Steven O’Brien, Michael Conneely, Conall Morgan, Sean O’Sullivan, Jack Hastings, Pam Ogundele, Cathal Evans (co-capt ), Chris Healy, Evan McGuire, Patrick Lyons (capt ), Steven Egan, Eoin Conroy. Coach, Tom O’Malley, Asst coach, Ross Conboy.