What a difference a year makes!
A mere twelve months ago, we left Castletownbere feeling deflated, when we suffered a one point defeat having been comfortably in the lead early on. The boys from the Beara Peninsula do not go down easily. Castletownbere went on to win the county. This time, our team left with a healthy 37 to 19 point victory. Last year, Bantry put us out of the county in a three point defeat on our home court. This year we had a comfortable win against them.
Our top scorer and M.V.P. Colm Harrington took the game to the Beara boys and threw himself into the action. He also single-handedly kept the famous Dylan Crowley scoreless in the first quarter, tormenting his talented opponent with controlled aggression. No one works harder than Colm and he deserves great credit for giving it everything.
The athletic Darragh Dempsey's game is going from strength to strength and he played a stormer. His calm demeanour added a maturity to our play that is found more often in senior teams. While some of our players were playing with energetic abandon, Darragh brought order. Eoghan Cawley also stepped up in attack, opening up the zone with excellent cuts and contributed an excellent ten points.
Tom Kavanagh's outstanding rebounding was also a strong feature in the game and when a team is controlling the boards on both sides of the court, they are usually winning. While our defence was admirable (led by the energetic Fionn O'Connor), there was much in our offence that can be improved. We lacked patience at times, our outside shooting was poorly executed and like the first years, our ability to break down a 3 2 defence had to be questioned at times. For all that, it is hard to criticise this fantastic group of boys.
All seventeen members of the squad played their part and their spirit is a tonic. They have proved that it's not whether you get knocked down that counts but whether you will get up and fight again.
Onwards and upwards boys.