The session started in late January but the team had been training since November. Once January hit, training consisted of Tuesday afternoons and Wednesday mornings at 7.30am. Players never failed to turn up for training and have reaped the benefits.
In our pool we had to play Crosshaven Colaiste Muire, Colaiste an Spioraid Naoimh and St Aidans Community College.
Our first match was against Crosshaven. As with every First Year match, five students play the first quarter, a different five play the next quarter and any five play the second half. Douglas started strong with Liam Harris and Michael Lynch playing well. In the second quarter Jack O’Mahony and Danny O’Keeffe dominated. Bartek Trozseciak managed to get fouled out in the second quarter. It had been his first basketball match and one he will never forget. In the second half Douglas Community School ran the show and won by 13 points in the end (DCS 43 – Crosshaven 30).
The next match saw the team travel to Bishopstown to play Colaiste Spioraid Naoimh. As CSNdid not have many club players our lads found scores easily and I was able to play all players in both halves. In the end we won by 10 points. Marcel Wawrzyniak has started to shine for the team and also the introduction of Rory Barry was a big help to the squad. Final score DCS 41 – CSN 31.
Our final pool game was against St Aidans who had Jordan Blount playing with them. It was a funny start as I wanted Jack O’Mahony to play in the same quarter as Jordan and their coach wanted the opposite. So it was a stalemate at the start. She put out her first team; I put out my 5 without Jack. She switched Jordan on, I tried to switch Jack on…. Finally we left Liam Harris and Michael Lynch to contain Jordan. St Aidans took an early lead and in the second quarter Jack drove strongly at the basket and gave us a strong lead heading into the second half. In the second half we continued to pull away. Jack and Michael kept Jordan out of the game and we won comfortably by 24 points.
In the Cork semi finals we played Crosshaven again, we won well and Ryan Lacey played very well as did the fabulous four, ( Jack O’Mahony, Liam Harris, Michael Lynch and Danny O’Keeffe).
In the final we came up against St Aidans. Our team was too strong for St Aidans and we won convincingly. Jordan Blount scored 42 of their 42 points and had a great game. But for Douglas it was a team effort and all the twelve contributed to the win.
The All Ireland Playoffs and Finals were held in the University of Limerick on the May weekend. Four pools were created of three teams each. First and second place in each pool would go on to the quarter-finals on Sunday, with third place playing a plate semi-final.
At ten o’clock DCS played St Josephs Secondary School from Galway (‘The Bish’). St Josephs started well with scores from Mark Rohan and Peter O’Connor. Jack O’Mahony scored a big three for DCS but The Bish lead by six after the first quarter. The second quarter saw The Bish push on their lead and DCS trailed by 16 points heading into the second half. The famous five of Jack O’Mahony, Liam Harris, Michael Lynch, Danny O’Keeffe and Ryan Lacey from DCS never gave up and in the final quarter great scores from Jack, Liam and Michael brought the margin back to eight. But they ran out of time, The Bish winning 44 – 36.
At 12.20pm DCS played St Patricians High School from Dublin. DCS were too strong for the Dublin side and won by 15 points. All players played extremely well. DCS headed home waiting to hear if they made the quarter finals or the plate semi finals.
Heading to Limerick on Sunday morning at 7.30 the lads seemed more awake and up for the games than the previous morning. Coach Ms O’Callaghan went through zone defence and how we could play help defence on the base line as the bus made its way to Limerick. The boys were focused getting off the bus and were ready to meet Oranmore in the quarter final.
It was a stalemate at the beginning of the match with Oranmore wanting their strong Hungarian player to play in the opposite quarter to Jack O’Mahony, whereas DCS were hoping that Jack would mark this student. In the end DCS sent Michael and Liam to do a number on him, and they succeeded. Zone defence worked well for DCS and with scores from Bartek Trozseciak, Rory Barry and Adam Walsh. In the second half the famous five played the best game of basketball they had to date. Fantastic drives from Michael Lynch, Jack O’Mahony and Danny O’Keeffe combined with great rebounding from Ryan Lacey and with Liam Harris controlling things from the point, DCS won the game comfortably.
DCS played Colaiste Eanna from Dublin in the semi-final. Pre-match talk was that DCS were going to struggle and they headed in as the underdogs. Eanna took the lead in the first quarter with a big three from Robbie Torsney. Michael Lynch kept DCS in the game with great drives. In the second quarter Jack O Mahony was strong for DCS while Eric Healy played well for Colaiste Eanna.
In the second half the famous five dominated the game; they had trailed by three heading into the half and with great defence and fantastic drives from Michael and Jack, DCS led by one heading into the final quarter. Try as they might Colaiste Eanna found it hard to penetrate the DCS defence. In the end DCS won by three points, making the All-Ireland Final and facing The Bish once more.
In the final the Bish started well and with threes from Liam Egan and Peter O Connor they took an eight point lead, despite great drives from Michael Lynch. In the second quarter DCS reduced the lead to three points. With scores from Adam Walsh, Rory Barry, Jack O’Mahony and Danny O’Keeffe. In the third quarter DCS’s defence was outstanding holding the Bish to one basket in the third quarter while all the DCS five got on the score sheet. The final quarter was nailbiting. With victory close at hand it was important for the students to stay focused and not let their lead slip. The Bish managed to score some nice baskets in the dying minutes but DCS kept their heads and went on to win 40-30. Co-captains Liam Harris and Danny’O Keeffe lifted the cup. Big thanks were giving to Jody Coady for all the work she put into the weekend. Also, the parents of the players from DCS deserve a mention for the phenomenal support they gave throughout the weekend.
Team: Adam Walsh, Marcel Wawrzyniak, Oktawan Soczewki, Bartek Trozseciak, Emmanuel Oladaujoye, Kevin Brennan, Rory Barry, Conor Kennedy, Ryan Lacey, Liam Harris, Danny O’Keeffe, Michael Lynch and Jack O’Mahony