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Four-midable Bantry Basketball Club dominates the hardcourt

April 1st, 2024 10:00 AM

By Southern Star Team

The victorious Bantry Basketball Club U12 team with their coaches Niamh O’Neill and Lorraine O’Connor.

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BANTRY Basketball Club boasted a 100 percent record in the recent Cork Ladies Basketball Board Championship final weekend, winning all four finals the club competed in.

All the hard work and dedication from players and coaches paid off, as the Bantry club won U12, U13, U16B and U18B championship titles.

First up, the Bantry U13s faced old rivals Glanmire in the cup final. As expected, it was close. While Bantry had a good start, Glanmire hit back with big second and third quarters to chip away at the lead and level the game in the final quarter. This Bantry team is known for their relentless defence and their hard press tired out Glanmire. Emily O’Neill pushed the pace with her incredible athleticism and found Emily Conlon, Kacey Cotter and Kate O’Sullivan in great scoring positions. Aine Courcey had some vital steals and found herself on a fast break on several occasions. Glanmire struggled with the speed of the game, found themselves in foul trouble and Bantry were able to punish them from the free-throw line. The west Cork team won by four points.

Bantry BC’s U13 squad included Kacey Cotter (joint captain), Emily O’Neill (joint captain), Kate O’Sullivan, Emily Conlon, Rebecca O’Connor, Emma O’Connor, Anna Russell, Aine Courcey, Olivia Minihane, Callie O’ Donoughue, Caragh McCarthy, Katie Cronin and Alex Manning. Coach: Niamh O’Neill. Assistant coach: Lorraine O’Connor.

The Bantry Basketball U13 team - with their coaches, Niamh O’Neill and Lorraine O’Connor - that defeated Glanmire in the final.


The victorious Bantry U16 basketball team with their coaches, Aoife Crowne and Greg Clifford.


The cup-winning Bantry U18 girls' team with their coaches Aoife Crowne and Greg Clifford.


Bantry’s U18B girls, captained by Katie Russell and Ali O’Sullivan who also claimed the MVP award, were well prepared for their cup final against Carrigaline – a clear plan was in place and evident to see. Bantry settled into a full court press led by Meabh Sammon, Holly Brickley and Ruby O’Sullivan, which forced Carrigaline into handling errors. The West Cork team was able to capitalise on the turnovers.

Katie Russell, Ali O’Sullivan and Anna Conlon worked the boards very well, Saffron Hogan proved to be a big asset off the bench, as she pushed the pace and found Leah Cotter on the fast break in the second half. A brilliant team performance ended with the perfect reward: victory.

The victorious Bantry U18 squad included Ali O’Sullivan (joint captain, MVP), Katie Russell (joint captain), Ruby O’Sullivan, Leah Cotter, Saffron Hogan, Meabh Sammon, Holly Brickley, Anna Conlon, Norah Cronin and Abbie O’Sullivan. Coach: Aoife Crowne. Assistant coach: Greg Clifford.



Next up was Bantry’s U16B girls’ team that was not familiar with their opponents from Mallow as they are in a different pool in the league. Bantry captain Abbie O’Sullivan set the pace from the beginning. Mallow, a very athletic side, had Bantry working extremely hard on defence. Luckily for coach Aoife Crowne, she was able to rotate her high-quality players well to ensure they could keep up the high tempo.

In offence Bantry’s patience and teamwork, combined with the smart inside play from Sophie O’Sullivan, Rachel Crowley and Norah Cronin helped the girls in blue to take control. Cronin was key to their success as the powerful inside player was too good for Mallow; she blocked an incredible amount of shots and was deservedly named the MVP.

The Bantry U16 squad included Abbie O’Sullivan (captain), Norah Cronin (MVP), Sophie O’Sullivan, Rachel Crowley, Belle O'Donoghue, Nadia Ustjanowska, Lisa O’Sullivan and Emma Barry. Coach: Aoife Crowne. Assistant coach: Greg Clifford.



The following day the Bantry girls and supporters had to do it all over again with the U12 girls’ team in final action against Fr Mathews. When the guards found Layla Rose  Kingston Fitzgerald she went to the basket on a mission and converted Bantry’s first four points. It was level after the first quarter.

Quarter two was a different story. Bantry came out ready for action and Fr Mathews found it difficult to stop the Bantry girls who gained a 20-point lead. The O’Connor sisters, Rebecca and Emma, kept the scoreboard ticking over. Fr Mathews stayed in the game, but all 12 Bantry players played their part on the day to win their first championship cup.

The Bantry U12 squad included Emily O’Neill (joint captain), Rebecca O’Connor (joint captain), Emma O’Connor, Fia Russell, Layla Rose Kingston Fitzgerald, Callie O’Donoghue, Ciara O’Sullivan, Hannah Murphy, Anna Harrington, Ruby Coleman, Kacey O’Sullivan, Mary Keohane, Orla Keane, Penelope O’Sullivan, Ruby Heaps, Millie Crowley and Kate O’Sullivan. Coach: Niamh O’Neill. Assistant coach: Lorraine O’Connor.

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