Club’s U18 and men’s teams in play-off finals
JOHN Endersen has a busier than usual Friday night ahead of him.
The Leaving Cert student will play in two play-off finals for Bantry Basketball Club in the Parochial Hall, first with the U18 side taking on Mallow at 6.15pm and then the men’s team play Ballincollig at 7.15pm.
It’s a sign of Bantry’s hardcourt success this season that both teams have qualified for these finals, and it comes just weeks after the local school, Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí, won an All-Ireland basketball title. Again, Endersen was involved on that team.
‘John’s the only player on both teams,’ explained Pat Curran, coach of the U18s and assistant coach with the men’s team whose head coach is Craig Drummond.
‘He will have to play two games in two hours but he is very capable.
‘Myself and John figured out on the way home from from the semi-final that we were involved in just under 70 games together this season between school, U18 club and men’s club so he’ll be very happy to see the back of me on Friday night!
‘John has been phenomenal for both teams all season. He cleaned up on the boards against Fr Matthew’s in the men’s semi-final last Friday.
‘He’s a very intelligent player. He realises that he may not be able to do in the men’s games things that he would find easy in the U18 games because of the increase in physicality and he really adapts his game to suit it.’
The Bantry men’s team is looking to add to the Division two championship won earlier this season. They beat Fr Matthew’s in the semi-final, racing into a 17-0 lead with Shane O’Neill at point guard controlling the pace. Endersen, Kevin O’Keeffe and Ciarán D’Arcy worked the scoreboard while Tony Sheehan was outstanding in defence.
‘Our head coach Craig Drummond has been central to the revival of the men’s team and his arrival to the club has been a real big bonus as he coached two boys’ teams along with the men’s team this year,’ Curran explained.
‘He brings many years of experience from his playing days with Neptune with him and has really done wonders with this group.
‘It would be fantastic to win this final, a great boost for the club.’
The Bantry U18 team is made up of the side that won the school’s All-Ireland and they beat Skibbereen 57-41 last week in the Parochial Hall to qualify for the final. Endersen, Liam Cotter and Thomas Flynn led the charge.
‘The U18s all have an All-Ireland medal with their school and as I coach both teams we decided as a group that winning that was our
priority,’ Curran said.
‘We used the club league to prepare us for that and try out new things so coming runner-up in the league was a fantastic achievement. The lads are very much up for winning the playoffs though as it is a big one to win and would be a fantastic way to finish off the season.’