Bantry's brilliant basketball boys make history

March 18th, 2018 7:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

Champions: The Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí team and their coach Pat Curran pictured after winning the U19 C Boys' All-Ireland Schools League final at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght. (Photo:Rolf Stenberg)

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MVP Liam Cotter inspires Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí to school's first All-Ireland

Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí 39

O’Carolan College Nobber 32

HISTORY was made at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght on Monday afternoon when Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí senior boys’ basketball team soared to new heights.

At the start of this school year, this group believed that this would be their season, that they would never get a chance like this again, so they poured everything into the quest of winning an All-Ireland title.

Mission accomplished, lads.

In this U19 C Boys’ All-Ireland Schools League final, the Bantry boys were full value for their greatest moment, and also the first time the school has won a national basketball title.

O’Carolan College of Nobber in Meath did ask some questions but the West Cork team had all the answers.

A superb MVP display from Bantry’s Liam Cotter coupled with great scoring from John Endersen, Thomas Flynn and Sean Brady was the difference between the two sides, and they held firm in the face of a courageous late comeback from O’Carolan College.

Indeed, the West Cork school laid the groundwork early, as they stormed into an 11-0 lead by the midway point in the first quarter, with John Endersen scoring nine points in that spell and Liam Cotter to the fore on rebounds. 

Back came the Meath school, as Killian Markey and Killian Price got their side off the mark to trail 11-5 at the first buzzer. 

Bantry kept the pressure up throughout the second quarter, limiting Nobber to just five points in the eight minutes, and dazzling offensively themselves, with Liam Cotter, Thomas Flynn and Matthew Barry all hitting the target in style to lead 27-10 going in at the break. 

In that second quarter, Barry, Flynn and Kevin Clifford were controlling possession and a fantastic three-pointer on the buzzer by Shane Murray made it a 17-point game after the first half.

Another solid performance in the third quarter from Coláiste Pobail kept them firmly in the driving seat as Endersen and Cotter showed their class. Good scores from Sárán O’Fionnagáin and Markey however brought Nobber right back into it and it was officially game on going into the last. 

The Meath team were not going down without a fight and put in a huge fourth quarter, outscoring the Bantry school, as they closed the gap.

By now, Endersen was fouled out but up stepped Liam Cotter with two huge baskets to settle Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí. Thomas Flynn, Dylan Clifford, TJ Sullivan, Daniel Downey and Daniel O’Sullivan held important possession in the final moments to see out the game to a massive cheer from the huge Bantry support.

Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí: Shane Murray, John Endersen, Matthew Barry, Liam Cotter, Thomas Flynn, Dylan Clifford, Kevin Clifford, Sean Brady, TJ Sullivan, Daniel Downey, Daniel O’Sullivan. 

O’Carolan College Nobber: Adam O’Neill, Ryan Carry, Brín Kelly, Killian Price, Patrick Meade, Killian Markey, Philip McGovern, Laochra O’Fionnagáin, Aaron Tolan, Sárán O’Fionnagáin, Paddy Matthews, Ronan Byrne, Niall Bennett, Daniel Murphy, Brian Reilly. 

MVP: Liam Cotter (Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí).

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