In Brief: Double basketball glory for St Malachy's
Published 26/01/2013 | 05:00
St Malachy's of Belfast secured a stunning All-Ireland double as they claimed the U-19 and U-16 boys' titles.
Malachy's sealed the U-19 crown after a hugely entertaining tussle with Templeogue. Having trailed at one stage by 20 points, Templeogue fought back in the second half and almost upset the odds. Ultimately, though, their first-half performance left them with too much to do and Malachy's, with Conor Quinn a constant danger, were deserved winners.
Terrific shooting from St Malachy's in the first quarter saw them race into a 24-12 lead, which they had extended to 40-25 by half-time as Aidan Quinn and Oisin Kerlin dominated.
Templeogue fought back in the third however, and, inspired by captain Anton McDonnell, Baolach Morrison and Sean Flood, were amazingly just one behind heading into the final quarter – 54-53. But Malachy's composed themselves, with Quinn brothers Conor and Aidan instrumental as the Belfast side eventually closed the game out for a 70-61 victory.
St Malachy's also won the U-16 title after a magnificent 50-45 battle with Ard Scoil Rathangan. Despite falling behind early, Sean Quinn led a second-quarter rally as Malachy's took an unlikely 26-23 lead into the interval.
Rathangan twice closed to within a point but Malachy's just managed to cling on in the end.
Longford were crowned Inter-county Leinster VS champions following a 2-14 to 2-4 victory over holders Kildare in Newtowncashel.
Despite getting off to a shaky start, the hosts quickly regrouped and dominated the first-half exchanges with a seven-point cushion at the interval. After the break, Longford continued to impress and their second goal, from captain David McGivney, with 10 minutes remaining wrapped up a one-sided contest.
Scorers – Longford: D McGivney 1-3, S Kenny 1-1f, R Brady 0-4, D Murtagh 0-3f, N Rabbitt 0-2, R Connor 0-1. Kildare: W Fitzpatrick 1-2f, N Flynn 1-1f, B Agunsoye 0-1,
Longford – G Kenny; J Rooney, A Farrell, I Illunga; P Farrell, S McKeogh, S Cosgrove; D McGivney, A McElligott; M Gorman, S Kenny, Nigel Rabbitt; R Brady, R Connor, D Murtagh. Subs: L Sullivan for Gorman (53), F Farrell for Connor (53), D Fitzsimons for Illunga (53), N Sheehy for Rabbitt (57), E Sorohan for Murtagh (58).
Kildare – C Shannon; Mescall, J Hendy, C Coyle; B Cawley, J Flynn, L O'Rourke; C Davin, J Connolly; B McGrath, M Byrne, B Agunsoye; J Corrigan, W Fitzpatrick, N Flynn. Subs: K Ennis for O'Rourke (30), J Kennedy for Corrigan (40), J Cox for Coyle (40) L McCabe for Fitzpatrick (51), L Moore for Crawley (55).
Ref – S Carroll (Westmeath)
AMY BOWTELL (19) came up trumps 6-3 6-4 in her all-Irish battle against Sinead Lohan (17) in the quarter-finals of the ITF Circuit event in Preston. In today's semi-finals, No 7 seed Bowtell faces Italy's Angelica Moratelli (5).
Elsewhere, Dubliner James Cluskey and Montenegro's Goran Tosic advanced to the doubles final of the ITF Futures event in Bressuire, France with a 7-5 6-4 win over Switzerland's Adrien Bossel and France's Kevin Botti.
In the doubles decider of the Futures tournament in Preston, Irish duo Sam Barry and Colin O'Brien came up short against British brothers Ken and Neal Skupski on a 3-6 6-3 10/5 scoreline.