An under-performing Bish failed to earn their first u-19A Cup final berth yesterday, losing to Templeogue College of Dublin at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght, 72 to 58.
Templeogue started the brightest, jumping out to a 7-0 lead courtesy of some fine offensive play by Anton McDonnell as their Irish international point guard Sean Flood pushed the ball at tempo, creating easy scoring chances for his teammates.
Stephen O’Brien finally got the Galway lads off the mark after almost three minutes of play, but they continued to play catch-up for the rest of the quarter which ended 31-12 in favour of Templeogue.
Good penetration from Seamus Garrity, as well as aggressive play from Dylan Costello, saw the Bish settle somewhat after that. However they failed to convert a number of easy chances and a back-to-back three pointer from Templeogue’s Aidan Rooney and Flood had the Dubliners in front at the break 43-24.
Credit to their fighting spirit, the Galway city school came out in the second half a determined outfit and, with Patrick Lyons an increasing presence at the high-post, they began finding gaps in the Templeogue 2-3 zone.
Their improved offence saw them narrow the lead as they trailed by just 11 points heading into the fourth and final quarter. Unfortunately for the Bish that would be as close as they got as their outside shooting woes continued to hamper the comeback effort.
Templeogue’sBaolach Morrisson became the hero, notching some inspirational scores down the home stretch that helped his team over the line and into the u-19 A final where they will meet a highly fancied St Malachy’s of Belfast.
For most of the players on this Bish team there is some consolation, however, as the majority of the team still have an u-18 National Cup final to look forward to Saturday week with their club team Moycullen progressing last weekend, beating the favoured Neptune in Cork.
Templeogue College 72 (31 ) (A Rooney 18, A McDonnell 16, B Morrisson 16 ).
The Bish 58 (24 ) (D Costelloe 22, S O’Brien 18, P Lyons 10 ).