Wicklow People

Presentati­on stars capture All-ireland honours in style


THE PRESENTATI­ON COLLEGE Bray U19 Basketball team are the national champions after defeating St. Malachy's College Belfast 60 - 51 in a thrilling U19 All-ireland Schools Basketball Cup final lat weekend.

The thrilling decider was held in the National Basketball Arena, Tallaght on Thursday last and over 300 students, teachers and family members turned out to cheer on the Pres lads and the atmosphere in the National Basketball Arena was fantastic.

After the exciting fare on the court the honours of lifting the trophy fell to Jeff Mccann and Brendan O'neill who lifted the cup to roars of appreciati­on from the Presentati­on Bray supporters after the hard fought win over St. Malachy's College, Belfast. The Pres team started the match slowly and conceded a couple of early scores to the St. Malachy's inside players, but a nice post move from Andy Bartley got Presentati­on on the scoreboard and the team settled and began to play the fast breaking style of basketball that got them to the final.

As the first quarter continued, St. Malachy's took the lead in the match with some excellent long range shooting, however some well taken scores from Lorcan Murphy and an excellent 3 pointer from Brendan O'neill kept Presentati­on Bray within touching distance of their opponents.

The Bray lads’ title hopes took a knock when point guard, Jeff Mccann got into some early foul trouble, but in substitute Marc Lennon the side had a more than capable replacemen­t. Marc's pin-point passing created some easy scores for his teammates and Presentati­on kept pace with their opponents as a result. The first quarter finished 24 - 17 to St. Malachy's and the Bray team had to listen to some harsh words from their coach, Marie O'toole.

The second quarter began at a hectic pace as Presentati­on Bray tried to make inroads into the 7pt St. Malachy's lead. There was some excellent defensive work from Presentati­on post player, David Mackin, who was battling hard against the 6' 6” St. Malachy's centre.

David's inspiratio­nal performanc­e seemed to ignite his team-mates and scores from Andy Bartley and Lorcan Murphy brought Presentati­on Bray to within 2pts of St. Malachy's. Marc Lennon and Brendan O'neill were providing some great passes to their team-mates and further scores from defensive dynamo, David Mackin and three unanswered scores from Lorcan Murphy saw the Bray school take the lead in the match. The score at half-time was 35-33 in Presentati­on Bray's favour and both teams went into the locker rooms at the half-time break with the result still very much in the balance.

The third quarter saw Presentati­on Bray continue to run the ball at every opportunit­y.

The return of a fresh Jeff Mccann helped them up their defensive intensity, which led to further baskets for an unstoppabl­e, Lorcan Murphy. Bray's excellent fitness meant they were able to play a very fast paced game that their St. Malachy's counterpar­ts were struggling to keep up with so much so that the Bray school stretched their lead to 12pts at one stage.

But just as it looked like St. Malachy's were out on their feet a timely time-out and some inspiratio­nal words from their Coach, ex-irish National team player, Adrian Fulton saw St. Malachys stem the tide and score some vital baskets to leave the score at 51-42 to Presentati­on Bray with the final quarter to play.

The final quarter of the match was a very cagey affair as St. Malachy's tried to claw back the 9pt lead that Pres had establised. Brendan O'neill and Andy Bartley showed maturity and composure beyond their years to calmly score some vital free throws to stifle any hope St. Malachy's had of getting back into the match.

Every time St. Malachy's scored, the Bray boys had an answer. The Presentaio­n defence was tenacious with David Mackin and Marc Lennon both diving on loose balls in order to gain precious possession for their team.

Fittingly scores from Presentati­on’s top scorer, Lorcan Murphy and a free throw from Pres Bray CoCaptain, Jeff Mccann finished the scoring for team and the supporters were in great voice as the clock ticked down to the end of the match.

At the final buzzer the Presentati­on Bray bench stormed the court to congratula­te their heroic teammates. The final score of the match was 60 - 51 to Pres Bray . Pres Bray's, Lorcan Murphy won the most valuable player award after scoring 27pts in the match.

 ??  ?? All-ireland champions - John O'byrne (Asst Coach), Nicky Casey, Lorcan Murphy, David Mackin, Dylan Terry, Andy Bartley, Luke Gorman, Thomas Mcgrath, Ger Fleming (Team Manager), Carmel Murphy (Strength/fitness Coach) Front Row - Ash O'callaghan, Ben...
All-ireland champions - John O'byrne (Asst Coach), Nicky Casey, Lorcan Murphy, David Mackin, Dylan Terry, Andy Bartley, Luke Gorman, Thomas Mcgrath, Ger Fleming (Team Manager), Carmel Murphy (Strength/fitness Coach) Front Row - Ash O'callaghan, Ben...
 ??  ?? The Presentati­on Bray lads celebrate with the cup.
The Presentati­on Bray lads celebrate with the cup.

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