Feb 21 2024

St. Muredach’s College fend off Presentation DLS to complete All-Ireland double with Under 19B Boys Schools League crown

Just over a month after they beat Presentation De la Salle, Bagenalstown in the All-Ireland Under 19B Cup Final, St. Muredach’s College inflicted more disappointment on the Carlow side when they met again in the Schools League decider in the National Basketball Arena on Wednesday, the Ballina side winning out 70-49.

St. Muredach’s were forced to demonstrate great resolve down the stretch to pull clear of their tenacious opponents, who had closed the gap to just four points heading into the final quarter, only to fall victim to a late surge by their Mayo rivals.

MVP Nathan Roddy emerged the game’s top scorer on 27 points and proved a handful for the Presentation defence right from the outset.

Indeed his contribution went a long way to seeing St. Muredach’s into a seven-point lead by the end of the first quarter, with Presentation’s Shane McDonald and Co-Captain, Rian Broderick combining for seven over the same period.

Tadhg O’Neill made a couple of baskets early in the second quarter to cut the gap to five, but the Ballina side were always able to respond as Mark Cunningham, James O’Boyle and Brian Morrison all served up buckets, while Roddy took two from the free-throw line.

That helped engineer a nine-point cushion for St. Muredach’s by the half-time break and they managed to maintain that gap throughout much of the third.

Yet a quick brace by Jeremy Hla, together with a Broderick bucket, suddenly had Presentation back to within two of their opponents with nine seconds left in the penultimate period.

St. Muredach’s managed to regain their composure in the fourth and had an 11-point gap established midway through the final period as Cunningham and Brian Donoghue iced swift attacks while Roddy drained a timely three-pointer to help see their side complete an All-Ireland double.

“Presentation are a very good side and they hurt us in that third quarter, but thankfully our star players stood up again and we were able to make that recovery” said St Muredach’s College head coach, Barry Murphy.

“To win the double, it’s never been done before in the school. It’s an amazing achievement.

“We’ve only two gone out of that 14-man panel next year and we’ll need everyone in ‘A’ because we’ll need to step up to play at that level” he stressed.

Quarter Scores: Q1: 13-20, Q2: 25-34, Q3: 40-44, Q4: 49-70 

Presentation De La Salle:

Rian Broderick (Co-Capt), Tadhg O’Neill (Co-Capt), Jeremy Hla, Shane McDonald, Ben Smyth, Adam Doyle, Conor Dunne, Sean Hanlon, Ruarc O’Neill, Ben Hogan, Darragh Fitzgerald, Evan Kelly, Noah Walsh.

Head Coach:  Leon Power

Top Scorers: Rian Broderick (20), Jeremy Hla (16), Tadhg O’Neill (6)

St. Muredach’s College:

Cian Morrison, Brian Morrison, Matthew Fox, Conor Bourke, Matthew Leonard, Mikey Cadan, Patrick Carr, Nathan Roddy, Alan Birrane, Michael Finan, Mark Cunningham (Capt), James Gil, James O’Boyle, Brian Donoghue.

Head Coach: Barry Murphy

Top Scorers: Nathan Roddy (27), Mark Cunningham (22), Brian Morrison (7)

MVP:  Nathan Roddy (St. Muredach’s College)