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St Colms U14 Girls Basketball Team who came
runner up in the U14 A All Ireland Club
championship final

Some colourful supporters at AICC Final

U14 Girls

Weekly Report

9th April 2017

It was the All Ireland Club Championships for U14 girls this weekend. 25 clubs, who were either the league winners or runners up from the 13 different area boards took part in these championships. 13 teams travelled to Limerick for the "B" championship. The top 12 clubs including St Colms competed in the premier "A" Championship in Cork. 

This was the first time that St Colms qualified for the A" competition and therefore entered into these games slightly under the radar. They were included in Pool 1 which included Liffey Celtics, current Dublin league champions and reigning All Ireland Champions and Tyrone Towers from Northern Ireland. 

The first pool game was against Liffey Celtics, which would prove an acid test of our girls abilities. Liffey went into this game the warmest of favourites, but this did not inhibit our girls. The first half ended all square at 20-20, after both teams had to adopt the five on five off rotation policy for the first two quarters. This game was turning into a bit of a classic. Liffey went 5 points ahead in the third quarter with the game apparently beginning to follow script. However nobody had told our girls. What followed from our girls was some unbelievable basketball. They took the game to their opponents, played real tough defence and played some lovely free flowing basketball. They turned this game on its head storming into the lead and never relinquishing it in a fantastic 44-38 win. 

Top scorers were Bronagh Dollard 17, Sophie Moore 12 and Abbie Pigott 12. 

The win for the girls opened up a very favourable path to the later stages of the competition. 

After winning their first game, the girls were naturally on a high. They continued their impressive form in their second game against Tyrone Towers. Our girls went about their business in a ruthless and efficient manner. They opened up a 23-6 interval lead, before cruising to a 46-12 win. The only downside to this win was a flare up of an old finger injury to Bronagh Dollard, who was rested as a precaution in the second half of the game. Abbie Pigott took the high scoring honours in this game with 15 points followed by Sophie Moore on 10 and Jana Zundel on 7. 

So against all odds, the girls as pool winners would compete in the top 4 competition of the All Ireland Club Championships. 

The girls had an early night! to recuperate and recharge their batteries. 

The following morning was an early start with a semi final against Midleton who had qualified with wins over Corrib from Galway and Muckno Lakers from Castleblaney. Midleton were the only team to inflict a league defeat on our girls, this season, way back in October, so a tough and close game was envisaged. Both teams did not disappoint. This was a game that our girls, despite not playing at their best, did just enough to tough out the win. Final scoreline of 33-29 reflects the tightness of this game. 

Top scorers for the girls were Bronagh Dollard 17, Sophie Moore 9 and Jana Zundel 4. 

So, unbelievably our girls were now getting ready to contest an All Ireland Club Championship "A" Final. Their opponents were St Mary's Castleisland. The Kerry girls went into this final with a long and proud history in the premier competitions in Ireland. However our girls had reached this final on merit and went into the game relaxed with no inhibitions. The first half was a tight affair with the Kerry Girls 17-13 up at the interval. Our girls put in a huge effort in the third quarter to bring the deficit back down to a solitary point going into the final quarter. However that third quarter effort took a huge toll on our girls. They could not muster one final last effort and were running on empty in the final quarter. St Mary's went for the kill and ran out deserving and worth champions on a scoreline of 38-25. 

This was undoubtably one, if not the greatest perfomances by one of our underage teams in the long history of this club. These girls are a delight to coach. They train with a smile on their face and a steely determination which allows them to compete and beat the top teams in Ireland. A huge appreciation must go to their two coaches Dorothy and Emily who have nurtured this squad over the last 4 or 5 years. A huge thanks to all the parents who travelled to support their girls not alone this weekend, but through all the dark nights travelling up and down to Cork over the season. 

A team needs it's leaders and this team have a number of leaders who lead their team through their actions on the court. The team is blessed to have the talents of Bronagh Dollard, Sophie Moore, Abbie Pigott, Jana Zundel, Julia Cunneen, Aoife O' Neill, Lucy Liston, Buli Adejohemin, Allanah O' Connell, Lucia McGill, Susannah Holland and Sarah Cantillon. 

A big thanks to Julia Cunneen who postponed her holidays to France so she could help out her team mates. 

Finally well done to Bronagh, Sophie Jana and Abbie on making the North Munster U14 team and to Ruth Dollard, Orla Zundel and Aoife Morrissey on making the North Munster U17 team ahead of the Sourthern Regional games on Easter Monday.