St Fiaccs Hall in Graiguecullen was the venue for the u11 mixed basketball. This is always an extremely exciting competition and this year’s competition was no different. Five teams took part Graiguecullen, Askea, Slaney Valley, St Lazerians and Bennekerry/Tinryland.
First up Graiguecullen’s Aiden Bradley, Lorcan Dempsey, Orla Keating, Emma Doyle, Ben Cullen, Rose Faskin, James Horahan, Caoimhe Brennan, Katlyn Timmons, and Noah Haughney took on Askea’s team of Eoghan Brennan, Matthew Shannon, Aidan Markin, Matthew Walazaic, Roisin Kennedy, Hollie Holohan, Katie Culleton and Katie Brennan. Both teams were evenly matched in the first quarter with one basket each but Graiguecullen soon took control and despite Askea’s best efforts Graigue set up a semi final spot against Slaney Valley with a 14-2 win.
The Bennekerry/Tinryland team of Luke Campion, Conor Buggy, Grace Guerin, David Farrell, Grace Kennedy, Katie Bowe, Clodagh Mahon, Ava mcConnen & Sam McHugh took on St Lazerians’ Molly Callaghan, Ella McDonald, Clodagh Lawler, Shane McDonald, Ruarc O’Neill, Aaron McDonald, Eoin Bambrick, Maura Kavanagh , Noel Meaney and Moya O’Toole. This was a very close game with nothing between the teams and both teams gave their all in the persuit of the elusive score. It finished up 8-4 in St Lazerians’ favour to send them into the final.
Graiguecullen then stepped up again to face Slaney Valley’s team of Olivia Coulahan, India Mernagh, Jake Nolan, Ciaran Scott, Sophie Byrne, Conor Byrne, Sean Roberts, Ella Treacy, Michael Redmond and Emma Cleary.
Graiguecullen took an early lead but following an animated team talk after the first quarter Slaney Valley upped their game to lead 10-4 at half time. Graiguecullen never stopped battling but Slaney fast break was unstoppable and they won on a 17-6 scoreline to book their place in the final. The final was a thriller with both teams played at break-neck pace keeping the captive audience enthralled. Both had chances to score but Slaney Valley were on target and lead 4-0 at half time.
St Lazerians fought back and outscored Slaney Valley in the third quarter 4-1 to leave just one point between them going into the last quarter. It took until the last minute for a score and it was Slaney Valley’s top scorer Jake Nolan who made a steal and headed straight to the basket to seal their win on a 7-4 scoreline. As County Champions for the second year running, Slaney Valley will now represent Carlow in the next round in the Leinsters.