The U19 Basketball team won an absolute thriller to advance to the All-Ireland Schools Cup semi-finals today.
In front of a packed house in the College Sports Hall, St. Malachy’s and Summerhill College, Sligo played out a truly entertaining and high quality quarter final.
In the absence of Adam Ryan (who is out through injury), Sean Quinn was added to the starting line –up and took up where his older brothers (Aidan and Conor) left off last year, carrying the game to the boys from the West. That said, Mr Fulton noted that ‘Cian Lally, Irish international Philip Hamilton and Oisin O'Reilly caused all sorts of problems’ for our U19s and Summerhill led 33-26 at half time.
A quick start to the third quarter got the College back in to the game. John Smye and Odhran Eastwood kept the score board ticking over and Niall McKeown, Jordan McCloskey, John Largey and John McMurray worked tirelessly to defend and rebound. However, Summerhill did not give up; continuing to lead by one point with only 19 seconds to go and they had possession of the ball.
Step up, Odhran Eastwood, who managed to produce - in Mr Fulton’s words ‘the most important steal of the season to date’, getting his hands on Summerhill’s inbound pass. Eastwood advanced the ball and as he attacked the basket, he drew the attention of Sean Quinn's defender. Odhran deftly passed the ball to Sean, who drained the game-winning shot sending St Malachy’s into the semi-finals and the home supporters in to a frenzy of sheer euphoria.
For St Malachy's College: Sean Quinn had 23 points, John Smye 11, Odhran Eastwood and Niall McKeown had 8.
For Summerhill College: Cian Lally had 27, Oisin O'Reilly had 17 and Philip Hamilton had 10.
Meanwhile up at Mallusk, the Year 10 soccer team advanced to the quarter-finals of the Belfast Cup with a 5 - 1 victory over St.Patrick's, Bearnageeha. In horrendous conditions, the boys showed their character and grit. Goals came from Jai Benson, a ‘spectacular’ header from Jack Maguire (his own words!) and an Aidan McGeown hat trick secured the victory.
Well done to both teams today!