First and Second Years have made an impressive start to their basketball season with hard-fought losses to St. Andrew’s and a particularly pleasing split with Col. Eoin, with Luke Gilleran scoring at will in both matches, and leading the under-manned 1st Years to an impressive victory. But even more impressive is the way the U19s’ season ended. We turn to Coach Eoin Noctor for the first-hand account:
The u19s, led by interim captain Shane ‘Buckets’ Byrne, fell just short of the mark on Wednesday to perpetual hardwood rivals St. Andrew’s in the SDBL semi final. On paper, St Andrews have the strongest team in the SDBL but, never one to shy away from a challenge, Conleth’s came out fighting. Jumping out to an early lead on the back of Shane Byrne’s 20 points and Mark Gilleran’s effortless rebounding, the boys in green finished the first half up 5. Young-bloods Ronan Connor and Conor Power weren’t content to remain quiet and watch the big boys play and added much needed effort (and points) to both ends of the floor with Ronan running in lay ups when Andrew’s inevitably tried to double Mr. Buckets. The second half very much belonged to the 5th year contingent with Oscar Harley Monks outpacing the entire gym on the fast break. When Mark Gilleran took a well earned break in the third quarter Sean Pettit stepped up and added some much needed height to the Conleth’s side. Although the boys in green outplayed our Presbyterian rivals the entire game it came down to the last 3 minutes where both sides traded baskets. With the game tied and 14 seconds on the clock we missed a vital free throw and Andrew’s were able to hit a big three despite the stifling defence applied by Shane Byrne. A last second attempt by Mr. Buckets wouldn’t fall and unfortunately that was the ball game. No matter what way the game had gone, both teams were in agreement it was the most exciting game they’d either seen or played in and with no 6th years in a green jersey there’s plenty of time to bring some silverware back to Ballsbridge.
Well done to Eoin and the boys on one of the most memorable matches in St. Conleth’s storied basketball history!