By Kevin Brennan and Jack O’Mahony – Transition Year Sports Correspondents (Basketball)
U16: Douglas Community School 58 – 49 Ballincollig Community School
U19: Douglas Community School 67 – 75 Belvedere College
On Tuesday the 2nd of October, Douglas defeated Ballincollig Community School (BCS) in the first match of the season for the U16 basketball squad.
The first quarter tipped off, and Douglas showed that they were eager to win, but BCS didn’t shy away and started scoring from all around the court.
BCS got into some foul trouble early on, bringing Alan Morgan of DCS to the line four times in the first two quarters.
Going into the second half, both teams were neck and neck. Douglas’ defence began to lapse in the third quarter and BCS took their opportunity.
Douglas reacted with great baskets from Liam Harris and Gary Pineda, maintaining their lead into the fourth quarter.
Douglas held on until the final buzzer winning 58-49.
* * *
Belvedere of Dublin proved to be the toughest opponents our Douglas U19 team would face yet, in arguably the most important competition of all – the National Cup. Unfortunately, a progression into the next round was unattainable against this talented team, falling to the Belvedere squad 75-67.
Before a 2pm tip-off, the squad was raring to go. Opening baskets from Michael Lynch and Daragh Fleming gave us a quick lead which was soon diminished by easy scores by U16 international Conor Gilligan. Both teams traded leads throughout the first quarter, with some quality basketball being played by both sides. The visitors however took the lead into the first quarter break, winning by a score of 20-15.
Despite our best efforts, there was little we could do to challenge the height of the Dublin side, as we were out-rebounded on numerous occasions. Our tenacious defensive sequences were in vain when we failed to regain possession of the ball, giving our opposition multiple second chance opportunities. This was the main reason, in my opinion, we failed to emerge with a victory.
Valiant efforts were made on the offensive end in the second half, including strong moves by Kiran Chopra and Lynch once more, resulting in a multitude of free-throw attempts. A run here and there closed the seemingly ever-increasing lead of the Dublin team, but it was only until the fourth quarter that victory really came within sight. eight straight points from international Liam Harris brought the gap back to just two.
Just when the momentum seemed to be permanently on our side, Harris went down hard on his ankle, leaving him uncapable of playing on. Foul trouble plagued Fleming and Lynch throughout the game, and soon after Liam’s injury Michael picked up his fifth foul, signalling the end of his game.
Although we fought on, without two of our in-form players to contribute it was a difficult situation, and we were unable to pull it back, as Belvedere picked up more easy scores from offensive rebounds. An exciting game start to finish, no doubt our U19s will come back stronger for the next League game.