St Joseph’s (Bish ) 77
Calasanctius College (Oranmore ) 39
St Joseph's College won the Western Regional senior A basketball title in style when they comprehensively defeated Calasanctius College, Oranmore, in the recent final in Maree.
This game was much anticipated, involving both last year’s u-19A and u-16A national title holders. St Joseph's managed to produce the form that has seen this team secure three All Ireland A titles in the past three years, and this was also their fourth regional title in a row. Led by their Irish internationals Patrick Lyons, Dylan Costelloe and Stephen O Brien, the Bish took control of the game from the start, playing with great confidence, skill and organisation.
In the opening quarter Brian Brophy and Liam Barber dominated the post positions and scored some vital baskets to ensure the Bish finished the quarter leading by five points, despite some fine shooting from Oranmore’s Cormac Shields and Ryan Murray. The introduction of Cathal Evans, who had just returned from an injury, along with u-16 captain Padraig Doran in the second quarter, helped the Bish extend their lead to 16 at half time.
The Bish upped the tempo in the third quarter and, in a spellbinding period, Dylan Costello, Stephen O Brien and Patrick Lyons combined to score 30 points in three minutes, hitting 10 three-point shots in a row, making it difficult for Calasanctius to contain them.
These scores effectively put the regional title beyond the reaches of a Calasanctius team, which included many of last year’s successful All Ireland senior championship winning team and current successful Maree u-18 team such as Ryan Murray, Craig Hansberry, Cormac Shields and Cathal Finn. Calasanctius worked tirelessly until the final whistle, but the game was effectively over by the fourth quarter with the Bish holding an unassailable and commanding 30- point lead.