With a bus full of talent and hearts full of hope our under 19 team set off last Saturday for Dunshaughlin Community College County Meath. A long day of basketball faced us with the tough task of three games to be played in one day.
Our first opponents were home team Dunshaughlin Community College. A slugglish start from the Pres girls in the first and second quarter meant that they faced an uphill battle in the second half. The girls put pressure on the very skillful and physical Dunshaughlin Community College side but it was not enough on the day. Defensively there were plenty of positives as Laoise Nugent and Tasha Tully chased everything tenaciously. However on offense we failed to capitalise on opportunities created which ultimately resulted in a defeat. A disappointing start to the day, but the beauty of the All Ireland playoffs meant we had no time to feel sorry for ourselves.
Official team photo of our Senior Basketball team in Dunshaughlin today for the All Ireland playoffs !! We wish them and their coaches all the best of luck!! pic.twitter.com/nm9chLSrMM— PresentationThurles (@PresThurles) January 20, 2018
A quick turnaround really tested the character of this side as they needed to refocus for the next game in quick time knowing only a win would do. Gort Community School stood as the next opposition and thankfully in true Pres style the girls took charge from the very start. They had a healthy lead of 23 to 16 heading into the second half which gave the team great confidence. In the second half they pushed on and never looked back with Anna Dunne and Laura Daly finding their shooting range and causing havoc for the Gort defense. Jennifer O’ Mara worked hard on defense along with Amy McGovern who dominated the rebounds showing huge athletic ability. As this was the second game of three it was telling on the team and fatigue began to set in. Kate Sheridan, Aleesia Mancha and third year Laurie McMahon proved vital in clenching the win (54 to 39).
With confidence restored the girls could not wait to face into their final game of the day against OLSP Belfast. From start to finish this game belonged to the Pres. A fitting way for the team to finish out the day. They showed huge determination and work rate forcing Belfast into making mistakes which the girls punished on the score board. A great way to finish out a day on the road, seeing off Belfast in the end 51 to 29.
Unfortunately the early defeat to Dunshaughlin proved crucial with the girls losing out on qualification. We wish our three 6th years Clodagh Sherman, Katie Hanafin and Tara Laydon every success in their leaving cert and their careers ahead.