Our U19 Boys basketball team were the first basketball team in the school to make it to a Leinster Final. The venue was the National Basketball arena in Tallaght on Friday the 1st of Feb. A majority of the lads were in the middle of their mocks, but that didn't stop their commitment and dedication to the cause, continuing to train right up until the Thursday evening before the game.
Our opponents were St Mary's College, Rathmines. They brought their whole school out on the day for support matched with 150 daltaí from CNI which made for an electric atmosphere in the Arena.
Our lads had a decent first quarter finding ourselves a couple of points down at the end of it but we were taking our time to settle in. The second quarter did not go our way however, missed buckets led to fast breaks from our opponents and a 4 point turn around on a number of occasions. We found ourselves 29-16 down at half time with a little bit of an uphill battle.
The lads came out a different team in the second half. They fought, they defended and they left absolutely everything on the court. They chipped away at the Rathmines lead and every score and block was cheered on both sides. There was a battle on the court but also in the crowd as to who could cheer the loudest. With 2 minutes to go in the last quarter the game stood at 43-40. Both teams were on team fouls and everything was on the line. It was not to be for us on the day. We lost 46-40 but the bród our men showed was to be admired. They could have easily dropped their heads at half time but no, they stood strong and showed what they were made of. It has been a fantastic journey, a majority of this team having played together under the coaching of Ciaran McGroggan for the last three years, with a few additions here and there. They are a fantastic group of gentlemen and they will be sorely missed on the basketball court next year.