All-Ireland Schools U19 semi-final
PDLS Bagenalstown 42
PRESENTATION De La Salle, Bagenalstown, have claimed a place in the All-Ireland senior girls basketball final after overcoming Galway opponents Salthill, 42-36.
Since the start of the year they have remained unbeaten throughout the school league and national play-offs and overcame Mallow in the All-Ireland quarter-final 51-19. This set them up confidently for the semi-final last Thursday.
A half-time lead of 24-17 put PDLS in the driving seat and despite leading for most of the game, PDLS had to work tirelessly until the final buzzer. “The game was too close for comfort. We managed to pull away by 10 points in the final quarter but it was always close,” said coach Leon Power afterwards.
Credit must be given to the PDLS players who never gave up. “They worked so hard, they really wanted the win. Every year we get so close and always come up short of reaching the national finals. The work ethic by both players and parents all year has been great.”
Amy Dooley and Rachel Sawyer scored an impressive 16 and 14 points respectively in the semi-final with some great performances from Anne Roche, Helen Roche, Caoimhe O’Neill, Niamh Forde and Niamh Roche.
“We have a very young team and each player has contributed massively over the year. There is a lot of talent coming up through the ranks and most of the team is underage again next year,” said the coach.
The All-Ireland final against Belfast school Our Lady and St Patrick’s College is scheduled for Thursday, 2 March in the National Basketball Arena at 12.30pm.
PDLS: Amy Dooley (captain), Rachel Sawyer, Niamh Forde, Anne Roche, Niamh Roche, Caoimhe O’Neill, Oonagh Fitzpatrick, Helen Roche, Maggie Forde, Aoife Roche, Laura Bermingham, Orla McDonagh, Eve Sinnott, Molly O’Dwyer, Ellen Murphy.