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Basketball: Oranmore too strong for brave Benildus

St Benildus College did their supporters proud at the National Arena on Tuesday, but in the end were helpless to stop a rampant Kenneth Hansberry who turned in an awesome display for John Finn's team.

Benildus had dumped the holders, St Malachy's College, out of the cup in a dramatic semi final at the same venue last month.


This time round, though, there would be no happy ending for Benildus with Hansberry's 43 points making him the undisputed MVP.

And Hoops Superleague American, Carlton Aaron, who presented the coveted Golden Ball award, would have been impressed with the big man's display.

Hansberry's use of the hop and step was a ploy that worked well for the Oranmore forward, as time and time again he eluded the attention of his marker.

And the Maree clubman proved an equally adept shooter from the outside as he landed a three-pointer down the stretch to ultimately kill off the Benildus challenge.

Nonetheless, the Stilllorgan men had really put it up to their opponents early on, with Colm Lakes orchestrating the play from the base of the court.

With capped Irish underage player Brendan O'Riain again on the top of his game, Benildus had matched their opponents basket for basket.

And their willingness to contest every rebound meant that there were no easy scores for Oranmore with Lakes, Stephen Fitzsimons and O'Riain among the scorers for Joey Boylan's team as they opened up a three-point lead approaching half-time.

But after Eavan Finn had converted one of his three throws, Hansberry then handed his team a massive boost when he drained a huge three-pointer to put Oranmore up 37-36 up at the break.

The roles were reversed in the third quarter with Benildus forced to play catch up following a series of baskets from Hansberry.

But a big basket from Eric Barber put Benildus right back in business before Shane Geoghegan converted one from the line to put Oranmore up 53-49 at the end of the third.

Benildus began the last quarter in a positive fashion with a lovely dribble by Peter O'Curry setting up a score under the baskets for O'Riain.


But a 13-point return by Hansberry in the final quarter was to prove the difference between the sides despite some good scores from Fitzsimons, O'Curry, Alan McMahon and Aidan O'Boyle.

Ultimately, though, there was no stopping Hansberry, who, on Tuesday's form, has a very bright future ahead of him.

Scorers -- Calasanctius Oranmore: K Hansberry 43 points, C O'Hagan 13, P Burke 10. St Benildus College: B O'Riain 23 points, C Lakes 16, S Fitzsimons 11.

Calasanctius Oranmore: Colm O Hagan, Eavan Finn, Alan Dempsey, Padraig Burke, Ciaran Harte, Shane Geoghegan, Cormac Shields, Colin Whelan, Enda Walsh, Dongal Greene, Paul Jacobson, Kenneth Hansberry.

St Benildus College: Colm Lakes, Brendan O Riain, Aaron Foley, Randolf Barquila, Stephen Fitzsimons, Ben Mitchell, Paul Connolly, Alan McMahon, Aidan O'Boyle, Eric Barber, David Stafford, Peter O'Curry.