St Mary’s CBS got stuck into this game from the very beginning.
Inside scoring coming from Mark Madu and Justice Iheme and meant the CBS were up early in this game. The Bish struggled to contain Jayden Umeh and Desmond Ogedegbe. The CBS zone proved too hard to infiltrate as The Bish struggled to score inside the key. Fantastic footwork along with aggressive driving led to impressive finished from Desmond who led the first quarter in scoring.
The score was painsktakingly close and there was all to play for going into the second quarter with the scoreboard 11-10 to our side. Scott Davis checked into the game early in the second quarter and immediately made an impact with outlet passes leading into fast break scores. The Bish were visibly more comfortable after the first as they began to score from beyond the arc and around the midrange area. However, pick and rolls between Jayden and Madu exploited the gaps in The Bish defence as the second quarter progressed. Despite continued scores from the CBS lads The Bish took and kept a five-point lead going into the third quarter.
Jim Hanamy and Jayden continued to expose flaws in The Bish’s man defence as quick zip passes led to wide open shots early in the third quarter. The two teams battled back and forth in this quarter, trading basket after basket as tensions began to run high. Baskets being scored by an unstoppable Desmond one more who was coming off a game winner only a mere hour prior. Nevertheless, The Bish began to adapt to the fast-paced offence as they slowed the game down to their own pace. The change of pace proved as challenging to the lads as The Bish kept the lead going into the fourth despite extremely aggressive offensive from the lads.
Vicious rebounding from Mark Delaney and Madu proved to be affective, and the intensity rose as the game progressed into the fourth and final quarter. Jayden proceeded to rack up assists as he dimed passes to Desmond and Scott. The atmosphere in the arena was ecstatic and with time winding down both teams began to play physical defence. The Bish began to collapse in on the key and quickly recovering to guard open shooters as the CBS struggled during a two-minute scoring drought. Jayden ran the offence down with 2:34 remaining and after a small rotation by coach Mr. Duignan the team recovered after another impressive score by Desmond. With 1:29 left Ben Quigley came up huge for CBS by with a three pointer from the left wing cutting it to a one-point deficit. After two crucial possessions the lads managed to get a stop and the ball back with 4.3 seconds left on the clock. Duignan called a timeout and wrote a play for a Jayden to receive the ball off of a screen. Jayden caught the ball and came off a quick ball screen from Mark Madu who dove to the basket. Jayden saw the open man under the basket and swung it to Mark, who was unfortunately blocked on his game winning layup attempt. Final score – 41-39.
An unfortunate loss for St. Mary’s CBS despite a huge effort from everyone involved. A fantastic achievement by our lads demonstrating resilience to the very end. The team received bronze All-Ireland medals for their tremendous efforts. We are all so proud of you.
A special thank you to Fionn Stack for the match report.