A superb performance from Skibbereen Community School saw our cadette 'A' basketball team defeat a heavily fancied Glanmire side and book their place in the All Ireland Play offs in Ursuline Sligo. Áine Keating and Tríona Murphy were the Skibbereen sides top scorers against Glanmire. Lana Dillane controlled the defence but it was a spirited performance from everyone on the panel.
And so the daunting task of getting our team to Sligo began in earnest. A first year Olympic Handball tournament, our Principal Mr. O'Mahony, a cake sale and a guess the sweets in a jarcompetition helped us to make this journey possible. Ms O' Mahony would like to thank the wonderful transition year students Kate, Lisa, Katie, Samirah, Abbie and many others who generously offered to help in our time of desperate need.
Strangely at the last minute, the hosts Ursuline Sligo pulled out of the tournament and we were now faced with the journey to North Mayo and the town of Kiltimagh. The team, kindly accompanied by the fantastic Ms. Breen left Skibbereen at eleven and arrived in Kiltimagh almost seven hours later. Ms O'Mahony's plan to have a session in the hall was no longer possible as the journey had sapped every ounce of energy the girls had.
In the first game, SCS faced a well organised Killtimagh side. This was a closely fought game from start to finish with Áine Keating and Shelley Brickley particularly effective in offence. The high standard of refereeing took us by surprise as travelling and fouls are not tolerated by the Western officials to the same extent as in Cork. Lana, our top defender got into foul trouble early on and our task of curbing a strong attacking offence became harder. To be fair, Áine Seymour stepped into her role and had an excellent game. At the final whistle, the Skibbereen side lost by two baskets.
The Loreto Letterkenny team were always going to provide sterner opposition and we were well aware of this heading into the game. They had thrown aside the challenge of Killtimagh earlier in the day. Despite facing a much tougher team, every Skibbereen girl gave everything in the pursuit of victory. Again Áine Keating stood out for her sheer determination. Orla O'Driscoll and Saidbh Redmond really upped their performance andscored some excellent long range shots.
But there was no stopping the penetrative play of Letterkenny. Their point guard was superb and their high low post play highly effective. Added to that their long range shooting was excellent from start to finish. Letterkenny are leading the Northern challenge in the club 'A' league and it was blatantly obvious why from their play in this game. Despite loosing by ten points , the Skibbereen side can be very proud of their efforts in this game in particular. They never put their heads down and gave everything on the court. They have made history by being the first SCS basketball team to reach the All Ireland Play off stage. No doubt many great teams will follow.
May we wish the first and second year girls and boys the best of luck in their league which is starting next week.