A FEAST of schools basketball action took place at Old Leighlin Hall on Saturday and Sunday as All-Ireland schools play-offs took place with teams from all over Ireland competing.
Among them were the senior boys and girls teams from Presentation De La Salle, Bagenalstown who proudly represented their school and county in their respective competitions after coming through the South East qualifiers before Christmas.
The senior boys All Ireland schools B quarter-finals were held on Sunday with Presentation De La Salle, Bagenalstown coming up against St Vincent’s Castleknock, Colaiste Ide and Iosef Abbeyfeale and Colaiste Mhuire Crosshaven.
In the home team’s first game, Presentation De La Salle were pitched against a very strong St Vincent’s team from Dublin. The men from Bagenalstown did not let that phase them and they took the game to the Dublin men from the start. In a magnificent team performance, Presentation De La Salle took the lead and did not drop the intensity. All players showed heart and soul and they clinched a 51-28 win.
Unfortunately, the second game did not go in favour of the home team as a very strong Crosshaven side came out with all guns blazing. However, Pres DLS never gave up and as the game went on they were beginning to get the better of the opposition. The Carlow side lost out 51-38.
This left Presentation De La Salle in a position where they needed to win their last game to progress to the All-Ireland semi-finals. They were facing a Limerick side who had put in two very strong performances earlier in the day.
The Carlow men didn’t let that phase them and they started the game strongly. They won the first quarter by two points and then continued this magnificent team performance into the second quarter. However, Limerick came out in the second half with all guns blazing and the Presentation boys did everything they could to stop the opposition’s momentum. Unfortunately, the game ended 41-61 in favour of Limerick who now progress to the semi-finals.
The Bagenalstown side really put their heart and soul into every game this season. Last Sunday they showed they can compete at the highest level with any school in the country. The team managers, Fergal Doyle and Leon Power, would like to thank everybody who came out to support the team on Sunday and during the entire season.
Presentation De La Salle: Paul Roache (C), Shane Dooley (VC), Jordan Kelly, Luke Kelly, Colin Byrne, Cormac Lomax, Adam Dowling, Rian Farrell, Jamie Doyle, Richie Whelan, Liam Roche, Tadgh Roche
The Presentation De La Salle U19 girls team competed in the All-Ireland senior girls A play-offs in Old Leighlin on Saturday, writes Caoimhe O’Neill & Aoife Roche.
The first game saw the hosts take on St Vincent’s of Cork with the Munster side starting off strongly and after the first quarter they were up by 15 points.
De La Salle put up a strong performance in the second quarter and brought the margin down to six points but the Cork gilrs pushed ahead again in the third quarter to lead by 11 before closing out the game by 15 points.
The next game would prove to be the game of the day as Presentation DLS took on St Louis of Monaghan. The game was very tight from start to finish with both teams matching each other with physical strength and skill. PDLS had a slight height advantage which they used well.
St Louis were four points up at the end of the first quarter before Presentation DLS regained the lead at half time after a tough battle.
The third quarter was intense with each team scoring impressively from long range. In the dying seconds of the third quarter PDLS got a basket to put them up by two points. The fourth quarter proved the most important, with both teams scoring in quick succession. Fast breaks proved crucial for PDLS who continued to drive on and seal the game 42-41.
Unforunately the loss against Cork would hinder Presentation’s progress to the All-Ireland finals which take place at the National Arena. However, it has been a very successful year with the team claiming the South East A title.
Credit also goes to coach Leon Power and all supporters, teachers and parents who helped throughout the year.
Presentation De La Salle: Jane McDonald, Helen Roche, Eve Sinnott, Amy Dooley, Niamh Forde, Oonagh Fitzpatrick, Maggie Forde, Niamh Bambrick, Rachel Sawyer, Orla Sawyer, Aoife Roche, Caoimhe O’Neill, Shauna O’Neill