Ballincollig boys best in the land

Ballincollig were crowned U14 national champions when the Cork County Board hosted their annual tournament at the Parochial Hall Gurranabraher.
Ballincollig boys best in the land
Stephen Sheehan, BFG Neptune, taking on Jimmy Ward, ITC Basketball in a recent game. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Ballincollig 60 

Blue Demons 49

Ballincollig were crowned U14 national champions when the Cork County Board hosted their annual tournament at the Parochial Hall Gurranabraher.

The mid Cork side managed to defeat fellow Cork side Blue Demons in a highly entertaining decider.

In the semi-final Ballincollig defeated the talented Liffey Celtics side from Kildare 48-37 with Demons defeating Sligo All Stars 43-37.

Ballincollig under coach Kieran O’Sullivan were favourites coming into this championship and they showed consistent form from start to finish.

For coach O’Sullivan the win was a major boost for the club.

“We are working hard with the youngsters in our club and I am very proud in the manner they won this tournament,” said Ballincollig coach Kieran O’Sullivan.

“We have some very talented players and hopefully this will inspire them to continue playing basketball for the remainder of their careers.” The Blue Demons side under the legendary Foley brothers Brian and Tony work hard with their young team and in typical sporting fashion Brian paid tribute to both teams.

“Ballincollig are a very talented side but I am very pleased in the manner our lads played and hopefully they will progress from this grade that will them make better basketball players,” said Blue Demons coach Brian Foley.

Ballincollig came of the blocks quickest and with the former Blue Demons player Fabian Schmidt hurting them at the post they soon commanded an eight point lead.

Demons to their credit were battling hard and late baskets from Matthew McCarthy and Conor Murphy helped reduce the deficit to 18-8 entering the second quarter.

Demons played by far the better defence on the restart as Ballincollig’s key players were shut down in this period.

Jack O’Leary found his range for Demons ad the deficit was reduced to six points in the 12th minute.

In the closing minutes to half time Ballincollig found their range and consecutive baskets from Aidan O’Donovan saw them command a 30-21 interval lead.

On the restart both defences battled hard as scoring became a rarity and entering the final quarter Demons had reduced the deficit to 38-30.

Coming down the stretch Ballincollig increased the tempo and with Emmet O’Shea and Jamie Cotter draining crucial baskets they were soon back in command.

In the end Demons were left to rue their poor opening quarter but credit to Ballincollig they played champagne basketball and were crowned champions in style.

Ballincollig: J Cotter, F Schmidt, D Quinn, A O’Donovan, A Yoplin, N Krusch, J Gabriel, E O’Shea, C O’Regan, Y Yoplin, B Boland, I Trouttehs.

Blue Demons: C Hannigan, J O’Leary, D Foley, M McCarthy, R O’Mahony, J Drummond, M Watkins, R Joyce, E Roche, C Murphy.

Referees: Stewart Joyce, Paul Keohane.

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