Leahy seals victory for St Vincent's

 

It was hard to fathom that one second could make or break a season, but that's how it happened as a last gasp three-pointer from Deirdre Leahy consigned Mercy Heights Skibereen to an agonising Girls' A defeat at Bank of Ireland Schools' basketball Cup finals, in the National Arena, Tallaght yesterday.

A terrible way to lose for any team but St Vincent's, Cork deserved the plaudits for showing great reserves of character after two long baskets from their neighbours in the second period threatened to kill them off.

But, having trailed by eight points at the break, Vincent's turned things around with Lisa Farrell leading the charge for the Leesiders.

Mercy Heights' more refined play saw them lead for most of the game but they could never quite shake off their opponents with Farrell and Fiona Lynch getting in some vital rebounds.

The game reached a hectic conclusion with Vincent's twice giving away possession before Leahy decided the title with a momentous shot.

Top Scorers - St Vincent's, Cork: L Farrell 23, F Lynch 20; Mercy Heights Skibereen: M Cahalane 17, N Cleary 17, A Cahalane 15, P O'Neill 13. MVP: L Farrell.

St Mary's - 70 St Andrew's - 48

Much of the praise for this historic victory must go to the St Mary's, Moyderwell supporters who made the `Lansdowne Roar' a mere whimper by comparison during the Boys' B final.

They were a jovial and animated bunch and their vocal output was a good as a 10-point start. St Andrew's, Blackrock, by comparison, struggled and even a spectacular score from top shooter Teillo Kishida failed to avert the inevitable.

St Mary's always looked promising on the break with Micheal Finn and Micheal Quirke keeping them well on top in this one sided encounter.

Top Scorers: St Mary's Moyderwell: M Finn 20, M Quirke 17, K Wrenn 16, E Culloty 13; St Andrew's, Blackrock: T Kishida 20, J Anderson 12. MVP: M Finn.

Cnoc Mhuire - 67 Presentation - 79

The curtain-raiser to this two-day extravaganza, which culminates at 4.0 p.m. today with the Boy's A final, saw Presentation Bandon's win the Girls' C final comfortably. Bandon always managed to keep their noses in front with Eileen Lyons scoring four crucial baskets to give them a 43-26 lead at the interval.

As a result Cnoc Mhuire Granard where forced to adopt a defensive strategy in the second period with Fiona Blessington keeping them in touch with 30 points, but her valiant efforts went unrewarded.

Top Scorers: Presentation Bandon: E Lyons 25, N O'Keeffe 24, C Hurley 16; Cnoc Mhuire Granard: F Blessington 30, M Smith 14. MVP: N O'Keeffe.