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Mercy squeak through in thriller

Coláiste íosagáin 48

Mercy, Skibereen 51

There were words of comfort for Cliona Máirtín from her U19 team as Coláiste Iosagáin fell agonisingly short in Friday's last-four encounter at the National Arena.

It was a terrific encounter that went down to the wire with Máirtín hitting the rim of the basket with 30 seconds remaining as she attempted to take the game into overtime.

Iosagáin had led 26-25 at the break with some terrific shooting from Mairead O'Driscoll, Niamh O'Sullivan and Gillian Coombes.

And in a dazzling third quarter the two teams matched each other basket for basket before Máirtín pulled off a terrific three-pointer to leave Iosagáin up 35-31 at the end of the third. But although Catriona Ní Murchu and Meadbh Ní Chleirigh turned in strong displays combined with some good blocking from Rachel Toland, Skibereen slowly began to wear Iosagáin down courtesy of scores from Coombes and O'Sullivan.

However, Iosagáin were never that far away with Máirtín landing two of her free throws to leave her team trailing by just two points.

Coombes, however, responded with two at the other end to make it a three-point game and although Iosagáin put on the press, Máirtín just failed to convert with two three-point efforts in the final seconds of a truly gripping game.