O'Shea seals win for Our Lady of Lourdes
Our Lady of Lourdes (Rosbercon) recorded a thrilling 30-28 victory over Presentation (Ballingarry) in the Post-Primary School Basketball Senior South-East 'C' final held in W.I.T. recently.
The first quarter was a tense affair for both teams, however Ballingarry got off to an ideal start with an R. O'Brien lay-up within the first few seconds. She would add to her tally a minute later after converting on a fast break.
Ballingarry were playing a very strong inside zone defence and OLOL were finding it difficult to score as they were forced to shoot from distance. OLOL's E. Lyons finally got her side on the scoresheet with a fine lay-up, and although OLOL were dominating many aspects of the game by getting to the free throw line, they failed to convert these shots.
E. Lyons converted from the line to keep her team in the game, trailing by the smallest of margins (4-3) at the end of the first period.
The second quarter saw Ballingarry's E. Horan come into her own and score very well, therefore allowing her team to race into lead. OLOL were struggling offensively both from the free throw line and from open play.
K. Whelan kept them within reaching distance with two well-manufactured team scores. Ballingarry's R. O'Brien and A. O'Shea combined well just before half-time and their team led 14-7 at the halfway mark.
OLOL had a lot to do and a quick Ballingarry score did nothing to settle OLOL and their confidence. They soon found themselves down by eleven points in the third quarter.
A change in tactics allowed K. Whelan to attack the basket through the centre of the key and convert two baskets. M. O'Shea also got involved in the play and was at the end of some great passing sequences that allowed her team to edge their way back into the game.
Ballingarry in the meantime had many of their key players in foul trouble and OLOL took advantage of all the changes. With the OLOL girls gaining in confidence all the time, they eventually got the game level with two minutes left in the quarter (20-20).
Two more K. Whelan drives gave her team the lead for the first time (24-20) after they had outscored Ballingarry 17-6 in the third quarter.
The teams went score for score in the fourth and N. Fennelly (Ballingarry) got her side back level (26-26) with minutes to go. However, A. O'Connor found her range and scored her second long-range bank shot of the game.
Ballingarry's A. O'Shea responded and scored from inside the key to level the game again with about a minute left, but OLOL's captain, M. O'Shea, had the last say as she finished a great drive to the basket which allowed her and her team to run down the clock and claim a 30-28 victory over their Tipperary opponents.
The win was the school's first Senior South-East final win since 1999, and co-captains K. Whelan and M. O'Shea happily lifted the trophy in front of friends and family on behalf of their team.
OLOL: K. Whelan (15), M. O'Shea (8), A. O'Connor (4), E. Lyons (3), K. Kelly, G. Banville, H. Holden, E. Walsh. Coach: Daphne Kennington.
Presentation (Ballingarry): R. O'Brien (12), A. O'Shea (6), E. Horan (4), N. Fennelly (4), C. Ryan (2), C. Hall, R. Fitzgerald, A. O'Brien, E. Ryan, C. Vaughan, M. Kennedy, M. Ryan, J. Mahony. Coach: Brian Moran.