This week has been a roller-coaster ride for Ennistmyon basketball.
The U-19s put up a huge fight against St Joe’s Derry last Tuesday in the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght, Dublin, in the All-Ireland B League final but it wasn’t enough despite some great play. Ciaran Devitt (16) was top scorer on the day with Ronan Linnane (6) and Ryan O’Halloran (6) helping out with rebounds and scores. Micheal Leigh, Tommy Kinch and Brian Davies also put scores on the board but at the final whistle, Ennistmyon CBS were a few baskets short, 31-40.
Last Thursday, the CBS Ennistymon first-year basketball team took to the court in the Kingfisher Galway in the regional B league finals against Oughterard. This was an extremely close game that went into extra time, with Ennistymon coming out on top 26-24.
Liam Devitt followed in his brother’s footsteps as top scorer with 18 points. Coach Tommy Kinch had to put his own disappointment of the All-Ireland final behind him and use his knowledge, encouragement, skill and advice get the first-years through their first school basketball final.
Dylan Noonan (2) put his name on the scoreboard with a brilliant rebound. Sean Garrihy (6) scored the winning basket in the final 25 seconds in extra time. Jason McCarthy, Conor O’Loughlin and Eoin Leydon worked well together to hold out the opposition. Diarmuid O’Meara and Joe Kivelhan were under the basket to collect and clear the rebounds. Cian Crowe and Aidan Collins caused huge problems for the opposition defence while Diorraing McNamara and David Houhilan collected numerous rebounds in defence. The first-year team are now in the All-Ireland playoffs, following in the U-19s’ footsteps.
Cascaders and Colman’s capture U-13 titles
The inaugural Clare U-13 Girls’ Basketball League finals were held last weekend. The Division 1 finals were held in Ennistymon, where Clarecastle, Kilrush and local side Clare Cascaders competed against each other on a round-robin basis.
The Kilrush girls got off to a great start by beating Cascaders by 10 points in the opening game.
The next game saw a much-improved Clarecastle side push Cascaders all the way until the final quarter, where the Cascaders pulled away to win by six.
This left Clarecastle needing a win to stay in the competition and they again put up a brave performance against the more experienced Kilrush side in game three but lost out by 11 points. This set up the expected final between Cascaders and Kilrush, which proved to be the opposite of the earlier group game.
The Cascaders raced into an early 10-point lead thanks mainly to their captain, Katie Considine, who top-scored with 14 points as her team ran out winners by nine points.
The Division 2 finals were played in Coláiste Mhuire last Sunday.
The teams competing were from Cooraclare, Abbeylakers Quin and St Colman’s and all group games were close affairs. The final saw Cooraclare A take on St Colman’s and this game was in the balance right up to the last quarter, with St Colman’s edging out the West Clare side at the finish by two points.
This brings to a close the first boys’ and girls’ juvenile basketball leagues held in Clare and the ambition of all involved will be to expand the leagues for next season.