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Russell stars as Faith rewarded

HOLY FAITH Clontarf were crowned U19A champions at the National Arena yesterday as Amy Russell gave a sterling display for Jerome Westbrooks' team.

This was a repeat of the Eastern Regional League final, which the Clontarf girls also won, and, on this occasion, it was hard to find a weak link in the team. Central to their 44-34 win was the physical presence of Eleanor Mathews and Russell, who continually foiled íosagáin attacks during the game.

Russell had been to the fore early on as Holy Faith opened up a 10-5 lead after the first quarter. And, in a highly charged arena with both schools bringing excellent support with them on the day, íosagáin were to edge back in front through three-point specialist Cliona Máirtín.


But, straight on the buzzer, Alice Fennell made a lay-up to tie the game at 21-21. However, with Sara McCaffrey driving on her team from the back of the court, Holy Faith began to pick off their opponents with a series of lay-ups in the third.

Heading into the final quarter, they had built up a good lead and, although Karen Ní Mhaonaigh briefly put íosagáin back in contention, Holy Faith ran the clock with a series of frees from Russell and Jamie Judge.

It was a good day overall for the Dublin schools as Loreto Beaufort claimed the 16A crown with a 42-26 win over St Vincent's of Cork.

Beaufort had stormed out of the blocks to open up an eight-point lead. Vincent's came back strongly to trail by just a point at the break (16-15) but, with MVP Jennifer Kirwan and Rachel Cleary both excellent in defence, Beaufort dominated after the break as Kirwan and captain Aoife Hughes drove to the boards for a series of lay-ups.