Kerry Success At Basketball’s Champions Trophy Weekend

Fr Mathews, coached by Kerry’s James Fleming, are Women’s Champions Trophy champions.

They won 83-70 against Courtyard Liffey Celtics after overtime.

A stunning 31-point display from Grainne Dwyer was the spark behind the historic win for the club, as she drove the side forward from the off, finishing on 20 points by the end of the first half, and was the one who hit an enormous three-pointer to tie the game at 66 points apiece on the buzzer to send the game to overtime. Sister, Niamh Dwyer, took over in overtime, driving up seven early points for her side to put a bit of space on the scoreboard and they drove on to glory from there.

It was a nip-and-tuck first half, with the lead changing seven times in the opening two quarters as nothing separated the sides, with Dwyer shining bright for Mathews and Aine O’Connor and Allie LeClaire the names everyone was talking about for Celtics. Indeed, the opening quarter was a close and hotly contested affair, with O’Connor and LeClaire dominating proceedings for Liffey Celtics, O’Connor netting some superb scores. Mathews were right back with a response though, with Dwyer leading the way for the Cork outfit, and Shannon Brady getting some good scores under the boards to see them into an 18-14 lead at the end of the first.

The second quarter continued in the same vein, with the lead continuing to change hands. Sorcha Tiernan hit some big scores for Celtics, causing huge trouble for the Mathews defense, while O’Connor was once more to the fore for Mark Byrne’s charges. At the other end though, they were again matched score-for-score, with Dwyer bringing her personal tally to 20 points, while Brady and Chantell Alford chipped in with some nice scores to see Mathews into a slender 34-31 point lead at half time.

The second half started with both teams again trading scores in a frantic manner. A huge three from Chantell Alford opened up a seven-point lead for Mathews before Allie LeClaire responded with a three-pointer followed immediately by a three point play to get the lead back to one at the midway point of the quarter. As the quarter progressed, Celtics continued to threaten to pull away and it was a huge three from young star Anna Lynch to close the gap back down. However Liffey were not to be outdone and LeClaire again went on 6-0 personal run while a huge three pointer from Sorcha Tiernan gave Celtics a 52-48 point lead going into the last.

The fourth quarter was poised for drama and it certainly delivered. The game’s biggest stars in Dwyer and LeClaire traded scores early but it was underage star Ciara Bracken who stepped up with a massive three pointer to give Liffey a two-point lead at 57-55. A huge rebound and score by Niamh Dwyer cut the lead back to just one with three minutes to go but again, LeClaire stepped up with a huge basket. The response was immediate though, with Shannon Brady cutting the lead right back to just one point with a minute left on the clock, and Chantell Alford edged the Cork outfit into the lead with 45 seconds to play. She went on to foul LeClaire on the next play though, to send Liffey’s LeClaire to the free throw line, where she calmly sank both to give the Kildare side a one-point lead with 20 seconds to play. With less than 10 seconds on the clock, O’Connor produced a superb block from a baseline inbound for Mathews, and was fouled in the meantime. O’Connor netted both of her free throws to extend the lead to three with just five seconds remaining but the drama wasn’t over. Niamh Dwyer raced down the floor and found her sister Grainne for a huge buzzer-beating three pointer and the game was headed for overtime, tied at 66 points apiece.

As overtime kicked off, Niamh Dwyer came up with some huge early scores helping the Leesiders to an early six-point lead, and scores from Alford followed and with momentum firmly in their favour, they drove on to victory.

COURTYARD LIFFEY CELTICS: Anna Pupin Romanawska, Karen Mealey, Ciara Mulleady, Ciara Bracken (3), Sorcha Tiernan (17), Allie LeClaire (29), Niamh Masterson (2), Shauna Homan, Megan Howe (2), Ailbhe O’Connor (2), Aine O’Connor (15), Katie Williamson
FR MATHEWS: Hollie Herlihy (2), Amy Fitzgerald, Niamh Dwyer (10), Amanda O’Regan (4), Grainne Dwyer (31), Chantell Alford (19), Lainey Nolan, Amy Corkery, Anna Lynch (5), Shannon Brady (12), Hannah McCarthy.
MVP: Grainne Dwyer (Fr Mathews)

Women’s Champions Trophy Final
Courtyard Liffey Celtics 70-83 Fr Mathews (after overtime)
Top scorers Courtyard Liffey Celtics: Allie LeClaire 29, Sorcha Tiernan 17, Aine O Connor 15
Top scorers Fr Mathews: Grainne Dwyer 31, Chantell Alford 19, Shannon Brady 12
Half time score: Courtyard Liffey Celtics 31-34 Fr Mathews
Full time score: Courtyard Liffey Celtics 66-66 Fr Mathews

Men’s Champions Trophy Final
Belfast Star: 62
Templeogue: 77
It proved to be third time lucky for Templeogue as they got their hands on the Champions Trophy for the first time. The Dubliners had lost this final on three of the last four occasions and they were determined not to do so again today,. In their way was a depleted Belfast Star team who were without the services of American All Star Mike Davis.
The opening quarter was scrappy as both teams tried to get a stranglehold on the game. Matthew Jackson and Sergio Vidal both scored early as Belfast showed that despite missing the league’s leading scorer, they were still a force to be reckoned with. On the other end Lorcan Murphy showed his high flying flair with an early dunk and American Dee Proby had some tough scores inside. At the end of ten minutes neither team had executed particularly well and Templeogue held the narrowest lead 17-16.

In the opening half of the second quarter Star suddenly faced a seven point deficit as Templeogue went on a 11-5 run. Puff Summers was causing issues and Jean Francois Basileu added six big points off the bench. Despite Templeogue’s superior depth Belfast continued to attack and had joy through Conor Quinn and CJ Fulton. Fulton created the biggest talking point of the first half as he penetrated into the key finding his seven foot big man Mike Thiep under the basket for a thunderous dunk that brought the basket down temporarily. Thiep was having his best game of the year to date as he constantly altered shots as well as blocking an incredible five shots. As the halftime buzzer sounded Templeogue led by five 34-29.
The second half started slowly offensively for both teams but then great work from Neil Randolph and Lorcan Murphy saw Templeogue race out to a ten point lead at the end of the third. Mike Thiep had picked up his fourth foul and things were in danger of getting out of control for the Northern men.

The neutrals feared that without the high scoring Davis available that Belfast Star could struggle but they showed incredible character again at the start of the fourth. Facing into a double digit deficit the team again stood up to the test. CJ Fulton who is still U17, again showed his amazing talent as he came up with a number of huge plays. He made it to the free throw line to shoot three, before knocking down a step back three pointer to bring Star within two. A steal by Fulton leading to a layup by McGaharan brought the roof off as the game was suddenly tied with just five minutes to go. Rather than worry the 2018 Cup Champions the run by Belfast Star seemed to wake the sleeping giant in Templeogue as they responded with a game defining 16-2 run. Neil Randolph and Lorcan Murphy both came up with huge scores, while Stephen James and Jason Killeen also added in big moments. The core that had won the league two years ago and the cup last season were there to be counted on as things got tight. Unfortunately for Belfast they didn’t have a response against the onslaught and they eventually fell away losing out on a scoreline of 77-62. The scoreline not fully showing the closeness of the contest and the battling performance by the Belfast men. In the end though it was Jason Killeen of Templeogue who had the honour of lifting the Champions Trophy while Neil Randolph picked up the MVP honours.

BELFAST STAR: Sean Quinn, Conor Quinn (9) , CJ Fulton (16), Matthew Jackson (2), Paddy McGaharan (2), Dominic Lynn (8), Conor Johnston (6), Conor Ryan, Sergio Vidal Baldovi (10), Joe Burns, Liam Pettigrew (2), Mike Thiep (4)
TEMPLEOGUE: Sam Walsh, Luke Thompson (4), Padraig Burke, Stephen James (6), Puff Summers (4), Kris Arcilla, Jean Francois Basilieu (6), Dee Proby (11), Iarla McKeon, Jason Killeen (9), Neil Randolph (19), Lorcan Murphy (18).
MVP: Neil Randolph (Templeogue)

Men’s Champions Trophy Final
Belfast Star 62-77 Templeogue
Top scorers Belfast Star: CJ Fulton 16, Sergio Vidal Baldovi 10, Conor Quinn 9
Top scorers Templeogue: Neil Randolph 19, Lorcan Murphy 18, Dee Proby 11
Half time score: Belfast Star 29-34 Templeogue

Tradehouse Central Ballincollig put on a shooting masterclass against Abbey Seals Dublin Lions at DCU to be crowned Men’s Division One League Cup champions on a final scoreline of 90-67.

A stunning 38 point display from Andre Nation was just one shining spark in an all-round superb team performance, as Nation, along with Ian McLoughlin, Ciaran O’Sullivan and Jack Kelly impressed from the off. It was Lions who had the better of the opening exchanges though, coming into the game off the back of a double overtime win against Bad Bobs Tolka Rovers yesterday, they got off to a flying start with Conroy Baltimore, Igor Markiewicz and Muhamed Sabic leading the way with some great scores to see them lead 24-22 going into the second.
A big second quarter from the Cork outfit saw them begin to dictate the pace of the game though, and despite a super display from Tiernan Howe, a huge buzzer beating half court effort from Dylan Corkery saw Ballincollig into a 51-33 point half time lead.

Nation continued to dominate throughout the third quarter, and put on a stunning display throughout the second half. Super work from McLoughlin, O’Sullivan and Kelly kept the scores rolling in for Ballincollig and despite good replies at the other end from Balitmore, Markiewicz and Howe, Ballincollig dominated to lead 49-77 at the end of the third. The fourth quarter continued in the same vein, and some super scores from Howe just weren’t enough as Ballincollig ran on to win out 90-67 in the end.

ABBEY SEALS DUBLIN LIONS: Samuel Mohamed (1), Jack Maguire, Tiernan Howe (13), Toms Ludbarzs, Finn Hughes, Neil Kavanagh (2), Adam O’Reilly (5), Muhamed Sabic (8), Conroy Baltimore (13), Igor Markiewicz (12), Rian Caverly (3).
TRADEHOUSE CENTRAL BALLINCOLLIG: Colin Murray, Dylan Corkery, Patrick McSweeney, Andrew O’Connor (2), Ian McLoughlin (19), Adam Lordan, Ciaran O’Sullivan (17), Steven O’Sullivan (2), Daniel O’Sullivan, Jack Kelly (12), Andre Nation (38), Issac James.
MVP: Andre Nation (Tradehouse Central Ballincollig)

Men’s Division One League Cup Final
Abbey Seals Dublin Lions 67-90 Tradehouse Central Ballincollig
Top Abbey Seals Dublin Lions: Tiernan Howe 13, Conroy Baltimore 13, Igor Markiewicz 12
Top Tradehouse Central Ballincollig: Andre Nation 38, Ian McLoughlin 19, Ciaran O Sullivan 17
Half time score: Abbey Seals Dublin Lions 33-51 Tradehouse Central Ballincollig

Maree finished off an incredible 2018/19 season unbeaten as they picked up their fifth title of the season when they overcame Ulster University Elks 73-65 to be crowned Women’s D1 League Cup champions.

The talented Galway side, who had already earned promotion to the Women’s Super League for next season, rounded off an incredible 24-game unbeaten streak this afternoon, and were lead by a superb 31-point game from MVP Claire Rockall in a dazzling performance from the Irish international. Indeed, Rockall had a super supporting cast in Dayna Finn, Maggie Byrne, Carol McCarthy and Catherine Connaire, and they held off a strong Elks side to see home a memorable win.

Elks were not without their stars though, with underage international Enya Maguire putting in a sublime shooting performance to top score for her side with 24 points, while a big second half from American Kollyns Scarbrough kept he game in the melting pot throughout.

Maree did the most damage in the opening quarter though, as they ran out into 27-13 point first quarter lead with super scores from Connaire and Rockall seeing them dominate at both ends of the floor.

A much closer second quarter followed with Enya Maguire finding superb form and big work on defense helping them to force Maree turnovers. However, Elks’ free throw shooting woes began in earnest in this quarter, as they went into the half time break having missed six from 15 attempts in the half, and trailed Maree 36-29.
Again, it was another intense and fast-paced third quarter that followed, with Maguire shooting strong for Elks while Scarbrough added some great baskets to close the gap further. With Dayna Finn in foul trouble at the other end, Elks began to get some better looks and began to punish Maree in side, but again it was Rockall to the fore for Maree and some big scores from her, along with a great basket from Carol McCarthy, saw them into a 55-47 point lead going into the last.

Elks were not going down without a fight though, and a huge fourth quarter followed. With Finn and Rockall now both in foul trouble, Scarbrough begin to exert her dominance under the boards, and huge scores from Maguire and Aoife Callaghan along with super defense from Alex Mulligan and Seana Harley Moyes saw the gap closed right back down to a one-possession game. McCarthy settled Maree at the other end though, adding a huge nine points in this quarter to help keep her team’s noses in front, and with Elks throwing everything in the tank at them, Maree held on in the face of the offensive onslaught to be crowned Women’s Division One League champions in style.

MAREE: Carol McCarthy (11), Dayna Finn (12), Claire Rockall (31), Orlaith Walsh, Maggie Byrne (6), Catherine Connaire (13), Nicola O’Connell, Alison Blaney, Laoise Walsh, Sacra Mannion, Fiona Scally
ULSTER UNIVERSITY ELKS: Enya Maguire (24), Erin Maguire (3), Seana Harley-Moyes, Kollyns Scarbrough (22), Jenna Kaufman (7), Nichola Rafferty (1), Aoife Callaghan (6), Ruth Neill, Erin Bracken, Eimhear Morris, Alex Mulligan (2), Abigail Rafferty.
MVP: Claire Rockall (Maree)

Women’s Division One League Cup final
Maree 73-65 Ulster University Elks
Top scorers Maree: Claire Rockall 31, Catherine Connaire 13, Dayna Finn 12
Top scorers Ulster University Elks: Enya Maguire 24, Kollyns Scarbrough 22, Jenna Kaugman 7
Half time score: Maree 36-29 Ulster University Elks