THE curtain came down yesterday on yet another hugely successful basketball bitlz in Castleisland.
Featuring teams from across the county, province and country, Castleisland Community Centre and St John's Parochial Hall buzzed with excitement, with thrills and spills over the past week as fans of the game flocked to the town for the blitz's 43rd staging.
The event got underway on St Stephen's Day and continued for five days featuring over 1,600 players, 165 teams, 178 games across twenty three competitions.
The success of the tournament is largely due to the trojan efforts of tournament director Donal "Duke" O'Connor and Denny Porter, the tournament Secretary.
The Premier Mens' title went to hosts Team Garvey's on a scoreline of 38 to 36 over JM&L Titans, while Tralee Imperials saw off Team Tom McCarthys in the Premier Ladies' final on a scoreline of 17 to 13.
The best overall male player went to Titans' Tomas Mitkus. Best overall female player was Eileen O'Connor of Team Tom McCarthys.
The most improved young male player went to Paudie O'Connor of Gneeveguilla, with the girls award going to Leanne O'Connor of St Marys.
The best local male player award went to Robert O'Sullivan of St Marys / Currow, with the female award going to Mags Fitzgerald (Cordal Queens). The best juvenile male club player went to Adam Donoghue from St Marys, with Orla White of St Marys taking the female award.
Amy Reidy was Miss Basketball and awards were also given to Donal Duke O'Connor and Denny Porter for their time and dedication to the club and blitz.
District NS Boys Junior B
Boys National 12
THIS was a great game with the boys national ahead for most of the game. Currow made a great come back, but the Boys national held out.
District NS Girls Senior B
O'Brennan NS 26
Naomh Laichtin 15
O'BRENNAN were very stong for this Naomh Laichtin side, but they put up a great battle and fought until the end.
District National Boys Senior B
Scoil Ide Curranes 15
A MIGHTY game here with the two teams going basket for basket, but Currow had the stronger bench and ran out winners by four.
District National school Jnr Girls B
ANOTHER mighty game here with Currow up by one point at half-time. O'Brennan kept working away to bring the lead back, but with future national league stars by Currow they held onto the their lead on the buzzer.
Districit National School girls Jnr A
THIS was always going to be a cracker with the two teams having excellent players and winnig all their games on the path to the final.
Gneeveguilla started the stronger going up four points, but the mighty Cordal girls were never going going to let this game go and came back strong to go ahead. Gneeveguilla keep fighting, but the Kilmurry girls kept hitting the target and ran out winners.
District Senior Girls A
Pres Lions 14
A GREAT game here with both sides giving it their all. Kilmurry were ahead with seconds to go when the convent got free throws, but it wasnt to be there day and the Kilmurry girls held on.
District National School boys Jnr A
Scoil Nuachabhail 9
ANOTHER great final with the two sides having meet in the opening round and Nuachabhail waliking away with that game.
Gneeveguilla came in with a hunger for the trophy and it sure paid off. They lead for most of the game but the Nuachabhail boys werent going to make it easy for them. Great team work by Gneeveguilla won the game for them.
District National School Boys Snr A
Gaelscoil Aogáin 19
THIS two sides had also meet earlier in the week with Currow claiming that game too.
The Currow boys went up seven-nil at the start of the final but the Gaelscoil boys clawed back to lead to go ahead. the final few minutes saw both teams go basket for basket with Currow just edging ahead, time was on their side and they held on in the final few seconds to claim victory.
St Marys Red 24
St Anthonys Cubs 6
ST Marys were always going to be a tough challenge for whoever they meet in this final as they have an array of talent on their bench. St Anthonys fought hard in this game, but the Castleisland girls were on target from the start.
St Marys Black 18
Kerry Green 10
A GREAT game here with the Kerry side really putting it up to the island boys. Both sides gave it everything but one the St Marys lads found their feet they were to strong for the Kerry lads.
St Marys 19
Limerick Celtics 13
A GREAT game here by two talented side, both giving everything. This was close through out with the St Mary's side shining through in the end.
St Marys 1 24
BOTH teams started this game well, a great first half. St Mary's pulled away in the second half and the Killorglin boys counldnt match them.
Division 3 Men A
The Rejects 13
THIS is was a thrilling game that went down to the wire.
It was basket for basket for a lot of the game with the Trainspotters just going ahead near the end. The Rejects weren't giving up easily and came back to tie the game.
The Trainspotters went ahead with seconds remaining, a shot went off for the Rejects, but it was off target and The Trainspotters held on.
Division 2 ladies
Tralee Imperials 21
Cordal Queens 16
ANOTHER good game with the sides giving it their all. The experinece of the Imperials girls paid off in the end.
Division 2 Men
St Marys/Currow 29
Killarney Cougars 19
A GREAT first half by the two teams by the St Marys / Currow team pulled out all stops in the second half to win.
Division 1 Ladies
UL Legends 13
A GREAT game here by ex UL players and local players all living in Cork.
Both sides had great talent on their sides and they gave it everything. The Rebels just had the edge and held onto their lead to be victorious.
Division 1 Men
St Marys Golden Oldies 21
Cordal / Currow 20
THIS was a brilliant game with both teams playing to the crowds.
They really gave it their all playing some great defence and getting unreal score, it was 21-20 with eight left on the clock with the Cordal / Currow boys getting three free throws to try and steal the game. Luckily for the Golden Oldies they missed them and the Oldies held on to the win.
Tralee Imperials 17
Team Tom McCarthys 13
A GOOD game here by the two local National League sides.
It was level pegging for the first half with Tralee one point ahead, again both sides gave it everthing in the second half with Tralee just have the edge in the closing seconds.
Team Garveys 38
JM&L Titians 36
THIS wasthe last final of the day and the crowd were not dissapointed.
Both sides getting great support and making sure they entertained everyone. It was basket for basket for all the game with only seconds remaining when Andrew Fitzgerald got the ball and hit a two pointer to win the game for the local side.