Scoil Ruain Killenaule
Scoil Ruain Killenaule held off a late, late comeback from St Mary’s Ballina this afternoon to see home a 39-35 point win in the Subway Schools Cup Under 16 B Girls final today at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght.
An MVP performance from Niamh Hayes who was outstanding in particular on defense, along with a super display from Issy Hayden helped see their side home to victory in a tense and nervy battle that went right down to the wire as St Mary’s put in a huge fourth quarter performance to put the result in the balance at the death.
A close first quarter saw nothing separating the two sides. St Mary’s settled quickest, with Shauna McCann and Orla Boyce netting some big scores and despite some big shots from Issy Hayden at the other end, the Mayo side held a 6-10 lead at the end of the first.
Scoil Ruain weren’t long in responding though, and a big second quarter saw Siobhan O’Hanlon, Hayden and Jess Strappe to the fore, with Ava Heffernan chipping in some big points for her side too.
Big defense from Scoil Ruain limited St Mary’s scoring to just seven points in the quarter – these coming courtesy of Eimear Treacy and Boyce, but Scoil Ruain held the lead going in at half time, 23-17.
Scores were at a premium in the third quarter, with neither side getting off the mark until the midway point of the quarter.
Four points in a row from Scoil Ruain’s Ava Heffernan and Niamh Hayes saw them open up a ten-point gap (27-17) with just under three minutes to play, St Mary’s came back at them as the quarter came to a close, and points from Boyce and Treacy brought the gap back to 34-22 going into the last.
A huge run from St Mary’s in the fourth quarter brought the game right back into the melting pot as they went on a 2-9 run to see them trail by just five going into the last minute and a half. Scores from Emelia Murphy, Amy Connor, Shauna McCann and Boyce once more teed up a nerve-wracking finale to the game, with Georgia Murphy proving to be a thorn in Scoil Ruain's side.
Scoil Ruain kept their cool though and Issy Hayden stretched the lead once more from the free throw line, netting both of her shots under big pressure. However, the game was not over just yet and a huge response from Georgia Murphy, Ella Morrisson and Boyce saw St Mary’s back within four as the seconds ticked down.
It was too little, too late for the Mayo side though as time ran out and Scoil Ruain were crowned champions after a thrilling finish.
Scoil Ruain Killenaule (Tipperary): Carlie O’Donohoe, Rachel Butler, Anna Prendergast (2), Issy Hayden (14), Clodagh Horan, Niamh Hayes (2), Robyn Horan, Emily Ryan, Ava Heffernan (8), Siobhan O’Hanlon (6), Katie McCormack (1), Jess Strappe (4).
St Mary's Ballina (Mayo): Orla Boyce (13), Eimear Treacy (5), Mollie Tully (2), Georgia Murphy (13), Sinead Honan, Emelia Murphy (2), Ciara Durkin, Ella Morrison (2), Clodagh Keane, Amy Connor (3), Romy Battle, Shauna McCann (5).
MVP: Niamh Hayes (Scoil Ruain)