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Malachy's forced to abdicate crown

Current All-Ireland U19 league champions, St Malachy's Belfast, have been forced to relinquish their crown after they were unable to commit to a deadline laid out by Basketball Ireland for last week's quarter-final tournament in Greystones, writes Rory Kerr.

Malachy's had been paired with Presentation Bray, St Gerald's Castlebar and CBS Tramore.

And highly rated coach Adrian Fulton has hit out at the lack of fair play which has cut short his team's season.

"We had lads sitting their A levels and no parent was going to put their kids education ahead of a basketball game.

"But we had told Basketball Ireland we would play these games anytime, anywhere after the exams.

"I just don't know what their rush was to get these games played off so quickly given the semi-finals are still over a month away," he said.

It is understood that Bray as host team had offered Malachy's another date but the Belfast school was unable to commit to that date.

Meanwhile, Calasanctius Oranmore became only the second team to achieve the three in a row when they defeated St Joseph's Abbeyfeale 68-57 at the Arena on Tuesday in this re-arranged All-Ireland schools under-19a cup final.

An MVP display from Abbeyfeale's Lorraine Scanlon along with some sublime shooting from Eibhlis Dillon had put the Kerry girls right back in contention after Oranmore had blitzed them to lead 31-3 at the end of the third.

But Abbeyfeale dug in deep to cut Oranmore's lead to 10 with just under five minutes to go.

But ultimately the terrific shooting of Catriona Foley (19 pts) and Ailish O'Reilly (20) was to prove crucial with Ciara Newell (one of four players to have won three 19A cup medals) closing the game out with late baskets.


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