THIS ALL-IRELAND Schools Basketball cup quarter final game played at the Gaelcholáiste Cheatharlach turned out to be a cracking good game
Played with tremendous sporting spirit this game was on a knife edge right from the throw up to the very last second.
Castleknock Community School started stronger playing with confidence. Slowly the Gaelcholáiste girls reeled in the visitors, Kate Ní Mhoráin sunk the first two shots after the break, Muireann Ní Shúilleabháin sunk the first of her two threepointers, Michelle Ní Bhraonáin got away on her trademark fast break runs and clocked up six points in quarter two to leave the score 27-32 in favour of the Dubliners.
A welcome break at half time saw the Carlow girls regroup and exert a lot more pressure on the Castleknock inbound balls.
The final quarter was dramatic. It was score for score with Nuala and Hannah sinking two baskets, Michelle netted twice, Muireann twice also. Scores were tied at 51 each and Castleknock's Laura Carolan sank a three-pointer. Muireann Ní Shúilleabháin stepped up and calmly sank a great shot. The pace was hectic and both teams were playing superbly, Castleknock had gambled leaving Leah Mullins on with four fouls and it paid off. She sank a free throw to leave two between the teams with just three seconds on the clock.
Try as they might the Gaelcholáiste girls ran out of time. Gaelcholáiste's Muireann Ní Shúilleabháin regained possession but the buzzer sounded just before she could get her shot away to shatter the girls' dream of reaching the semi-final.
This was a superb game of basketball played with great pace, skill and respect.
The Gaelcholáiste girls were shattered at their end whilst the Castleknock girls celebrated with the narrowest of wins.
Michelle Ní Bhraonáin (16), Muireann Ní Shúilleabháin (18), Nuala Ní Shúilleabháin (4), Hannah Nc Giolla Phádraig (4), Kate Ní Mhoráin (11), Emma Nic an Mhaoir, Katie Ní Chorráin, Jenny Ní Dhubhchonna