BALLINCOLLIG Basketball Club can stop dreaming and start planning for a bright future after making the long-awaited breakthrough on the big stage.
Just three years ago their senior men’s team tipped along in the local league with a core of seven players. This week they’re toasting a magic trip to Tallaght, capped off with a homecoming to sponsors Tradehouse Central in Ballincollig on Monday evening, after detours to Healy's and Mary O'Connell's.
The stunning upset over Killorglin was fantastic for the hardcore supporters who made the journey to bang their drums in the arena in a tense and gripping battle. The likes of Marita Murphy, Steven Foster, Colman O’Flynn and Nicky Bohane, to name just a few, put in huge work on committees and by coaching teams and their joy was unbridled.
Ballincollig came close to national glory in 2008. Spearheaded by Ciarán O’Sullivan and his best friend Daniel, they reached back-to-back U18 deciders but couldn’t get over the line. Both had to leave the club to develop their careers, with Ciarán excelling in Demons’ all-conquering teams, where his brother Adrian still plays.
The X-factor was supplied by the MVP, Cameron Clark, with 29 points.
“It was far from ideal. I was really under the weather, Ronan hadn’t trained since the semi and Daniel injured his arm only last week but we said we’d have a cut. You have to in a final. Excuses don’t matter once the game is over, only the result.”
“It’s even better with your own people. The sweetest.”