St. Macartan’s Senior Basketball team in All Ireland Finals
Sem U19 Basketball team into All Ireland “A” Finals
After winning the regional title before Christmas, the St. Macartan’s College senior basketball team made their way to the Neptune Stadium Cork last weekend for the All Ireland playoff tournament. In a group with Coláiste Pobail Setanta Dublin, Coláiste Iognaid Galway and local favourites St. Aidan’s C.C. Cork and with only one team to progress, Sunday’s tournament would prove to be exciting, intense as well as draining for all involved. Coached by Enda Ó’Brien, the Sem team made an excellent start in their first game against Coláiste Pobail Setanta with Donal Leonard, Michael McDonnell, Justan Dambinskas and Jason Hamill getting an opportunity to avail of and make their mark with some valuable court time. Game one finished St. Macartan’s 70 – Coláiste Pobail Setanta 39.
Game two was billed as game of the day with the Sem facing local side St. Aidan’s Community College Cork – the team who had just defeated the strong and experienced Coláiste Iognaid in game one. This game lived up to expectations with The Sem moving ahead in the fourth quarter thanks to some excellent performances from Andrew O’Connor, Killian McAdam, Ryan Treanor, Michael Ó’Brien and Robert Haynes. Transition Year students Sebastian Uglis and Ben Ryan also contributed throughout this game coming from the bench to assist the more experienced first five. Game two finished St. Macartan’s 64, St. Aidan’s 57. After this Sem win the tournament was finely poised with qualification to the finals on score difference becoming a definite reality for the two teams competing in the next game namely the Sem and the Jes – Coláiste Iognaid, from Galway. Every score was important in this encounter and with the Jes moving into an early lead against an obviously tired Monaghan side. Excellent defensive work by Robert Haynes, Ryan Treanor and Michael O’Brien rallied the Sem team. Andrew O’Conor and Killian McAdam were excellent in attack making some excellent three point scores at vital times to keep Sem hopes of qualification alive. The tournament rested on two superb three point baskets by Killian McAdam late in the fourth quarter and when the calculations were complete, St. Macartan’s qualified for the All Ireland finals at Tallaght Stadium on February 6th with only three points to spare.
U 14 Team with team coach, Mr. G. Coyle
U 16 Team
Many of the photographs which were posted below have been erased due to some malfunction in the system.
St Macartan’s Wins Regional Final
The First Years of St. Macartan’s College were victorious over Our Lady’s, Castleblayney by 41 – 28 in the North East Regional Final in Dundalk. Wins over Granard and Cootehill ensured quqlification to the knockout stages where they defeated St. Oliver’s, Drogheda.
U-16 B All Ireland Champions
‘The Sem’, started brightly with baskets from Ramunas Ramanuskas and MVP award winner David McAlister seeing a 7-0 lead open up early in the opening quarter. However, the Cork outfit rallied and closed the gap to two points at the end of the 1st quarter at 19-17, with scores from Mantas Zalkas proving crucial just before the 1st Quarter buzzer went. On the resumption of the 2nd Quarter, ‘The Sem’ continued where they had finished off, once again commanding a seven point lead, in main, due to the guile and skill of point-guard David McAlister. The game ebbed and flowed with scores shared and as the half-time buzzer sounded ‘The Sem’, were 5 points in the lead 34-29.
The half-time break seemed to do the Sem no favours as CBC Cork took control of the game through the play of their Captain Denis Lenihan. The Sem’s defence became lax for a while and it took baskets from Daithi Colton and Mantas Zalkas to settle the nerves of the Monaghan side as they endeavoured to play themselves back into the game, albeit facing a 5 point deficit heading into the final and crucial quarter.
The introduction of Team Captain Richard Wilkie who had been missing due to illness seemed to spark the vocal Sem support into life. Fast break baskets from Daithi Colton ensured that the Sem regained the lead for the first time in over a quarter after David McAlister drained a thirty footer for a three points. CBC Cork now found themselves on the back foot. With 50 seconds remaining St. Macartan’s led by 4points, but after some brilliant attacking play by Cork, and an excellent three pointer from their captain Lenihan, it left only the minimum between the teams.
This game was proving not to be for the faint hearted as possession changed hands on several occasions in the final seconds, before potential disaster struck for St. Macartans. With only 7.2 seconds left on the game-clock one of the referees called a foul and as the Sem were on team fouls it automatically sent the Cork Captain to the free throw line with two shots to either win or tie the game. All Monaghan eyes present stared at the basket as Lenihan missed his first shot. Still a converted free throw would bring the game to extra time. Astonishingly CBC’s most prolific scorer missed his second free throw and with the Sem claiming the rebound and the remaining seconds on the clock rundown, the All-Ireland trophy made its way to North Monaghan for the first time.
Team Coach Mr. Garrett Coyle was obviously delighted at the end of this contest; “It’s just an unbelievable feeling. We’ve been on a very long journey since we started training last September. All the hard work and the training has paid off. I’ve been very lucky to have had a quality and dedicated panel of players who have committed themselves to winning silverware and they have been rewarded for their efforts. Credit must go to Enda O’ Brien and the Donagh Basketball Club for all their hard work in promoting the game of Basketball in North Monaghan. We have harnessed that talent and you can see the benefits.” Regarding the final moments of the game he commented; “Those last few seconds seemed like an eternity. When David Lenihan stood on the free throw line I thought we were finished. But in fairness to our guys I thought we had done enough to deserve the win. Our backs were against the wall especially when we got news this morning that our team captain and top scorer, Richard was unable to play due to illness, but the boys didn’t let it phase them at all. They just went out and worked hard for one another, the hallmark of any good team. I’m just delighted and proud of each and every single one of them.”
Team and scores, David McAlister (29 pts). Ramuans Ramuanskas (16 pts), Mantas Zalikas
(10 pts), Daithi Colton (8 pts), Christopher Kerr (2 pts), Thomas McElmeel (2 pts), Richard Wilkie, Andrius Jastramskas, Caolan McElwain, Conor Bogue, Darren Caulfield, Garbhan Harraghy, James Deery, James McKenna, Kieran McGuirk, Marc Brennan and Thomas O’Brien.
U – 19 Basketball
Sem Senior Basketball team in All-Ireland Quarter Finals
St. Macartan’s panel: Anthony O’ Brien, Arnas Bartoska, Aurimas Gutauskas, Conor Smyth, David McAlister, Emilis Kasparavicius, Ernestas Paulikaitis, Fiachra Sherry, Joesph Brady, Marius Sinica, Matas Grinkevicius, Niall Rooney, Parnell Watters, Paul Byrne, Richard Wilkie, Stephen O’ Brien and Thomas Doody, team coach Mr. G. Coyle
A very successful Basketball Blitz was staged in the Sportshall just before Easter break.
The U 16 Basketball team won the Regional Basketball Competition on 8th. February and have reached the National playoffs. Well done to the team and their coaches, Ms. F. Gallagher, Mr. G. Coyle and Mr. S Mc Geough.
Second Year Team with the North Eastern Region Winners Cup
Action from The Regional Final
Parnell is presented with his winners medal
Second Year team taking part in the national finals
North Eastern Region, Runners-Up, First Year
The Second Year Basketball team that won the North Eastern Region Basketball Competition in Drogheda. Also included are coaches Mr. G. Coyle and Ms. F. gallagher.