BANTRY Basketball Club rounded off a fantastic season in style by winning two play-off finals at the Parochial Hall last Friday night week.
Both the club’s U18 boys’ and men’s teams brought the silverware home to West Cork.
The U18s got the ball rolling when they beat Mallow 35-30. This Bantry team is basically the Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí senior boys’ team that won an All-Ireland title in March and they showed their class once more in a very tight affair.
Mallow led at half time by six points – but the Bantry lads really got their form going in the second half. Liam Cotter started to dominate the offensive boards, John Endersen found his range, Kevin Clifford and Shane Murray added scores and Tom Flynn started to come more and more into the game. Bantry pulled away late in the fourth quarter and eventually ran out winners with five points to spare. The U18 squad included Daniel Downey, Daniel O’Sullivan, John Endersen, Liam Cotter, TJ Sullivan, Kevin Clifford, Thomas Flynn, Shane Murray, Dylan Clifford and Sean Brady, and is coached by Pat Curran.
The men’s final was a much more one-sided game even though Bantry trailed by two points after the first quarter against Ballincollig. After that Tony Sheehan and Kevin O’Keeffe began to dominate around the basket as Shane O’Neill at point guard pulled the strings. John Endersen, after just playing the full U18 match, was again outstanding, adding some very important scores while Tadhg Linehan and Ciarán D’Arcy also added to the ever-increasing lead. Bantry won 59-35.
The Bantry men’s squad – coached by Craig Drummond with assistant coach Pat Curran – included Damian Kozlowski, Ciarán D’Arcy, Kevin O’Keeffe, Tadhg Linehan, Gerdie Barry, Russell Barry, Mike McCarthy, Tadhg McCarthy, Tony Sheehan, Shane O’Neill, Bart Ustanizov, John Endersen and Andrew Hurley.