There was a great day in Mucklagh Community Centre on Wednesday as the Offaly Primary Schools Basketball Finals took place.
Four teams had qualified for the Finals day and all four were out to prove themselves the best team in the county.
The early games saw the Ballinamere NS team and the Mucklagh NS team gain good wins over a young Gaelscoil an Eiscir Riada B team who will have many more big games ahead of them.
Gaelscoil B were led impressively by Meabh de Rois and Anna Mae Ni Chleirigh. One of the games of the day was the Mucklagh v Gaelscoil an Eisicr Riada A team in the semi final match up. The sides were level at the end of the third quarter where Mucklagh led by Sophie Thornton and Aoibhin McDonagh really put it up to the favourites. Some solid baskets from Gaelscoil captain Siun Ni Bhriain saw her team over the line just about to qualify for the Final.
In that Final Gaelscoil would meet Balllinamere NS who were going for four in a row of titles in a repeat of the 2017 final. Gaelscoil got off to a great start to lead 8-2 after the first quarter thanks to baskets form Una Ni Bhriain and Aisling Nic Oitir. Ballinamere came back in the second quarter with scores from Julia Slattery and Niamh Galvin.
The second half began at a fierce pace with both teams going hell for leather for the win. Great defence from Julie Ni Cheallaigh and Doireann Oman just about gave the Gaelscoil the advantage despite the best efforts of Naoise McDonald and Amy McGreal for Ballinamere.
In the end the experience of Midlands U14 player Aine Ni Fheorais and the unbelievable heart of Abbie Nic Aoidh just about saw the Gaelscoil home on the slender margin of 20 points to 15. Captain Siun Ni Bhriain received the cup named in honour of Tullamore's greatest basketball player Susan Moran to the jubilant applause of her teammates.
The Cup rests in the Gaelscoil over the summer but no doubt great games will take place again next year in pursuit of basketball glory.
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