St Declan’s celebrate their success at the annual Dublin Masters tournament

WITH 40 teams travelling from far and wide from countries such as USA, Croatia, Lithuania, Malta, England, Scotland and many others, the seventh Dublin Masters International Tournament proved another hit.

The event was played out over four venues across south Dublin and featured the inaugural Over 60 men’s category with three teams competing: An Irish representative team called Shannon, Strathclyde Sixers from Scotland and, from the USA, a team called Still Here with players from Texas and Cleveland.

With a large travelling support, they proved hugely popular with all the teams competing. The deciding game was played between Shannon and Still Here and, with less than 20 seconds left, Lahh Woods of Still Here hit the trophy winning shot.

In the Over 50 men’s section, DM Ballers were defending their title but got off to a bad start when they were beaten by visiting Lithuanian side Kaunas Patvanka, who had medallists from the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games.

DM Ballers regrouped with two good wins and advanced to the semi-finals with Kaunas. In the other pool, Strathclyde proved the surprise packet, coming through in first place with Team BNAF.

DM Ballers and Kaunas advanced to the final but, despite DM Ballers putting on a hugely improved performance from the first meeting, it was still Kaunas who came out on top to take the trophy.

In the Ladies section, the highly talented Wild Rovers were looking for a sixth straight title

This team would still give most current Super League teams a run for their money and once again proved far too strong. They beat newcomers Midlands in the semi-finals, taking control in the third quarter.

Local side Oblate Dynamoes had an exciting win over last year’s finalists Mustangs from Mayo, making it their fourth final in the last six years.

Once again, Wild Rovers came out on top against a game but injury hit Oblates team. Team Malta won the ladies plate competition, beating English side Sheffield by one point.

Without doubt, the Men’s Over 40 section was the highest standard tournament and it was extremely competitive, physical and entertaining.

In the semi-finals, two time champions St Delcan’s faced the 78ers, a team containing a number of the Irish U-20 team from 1998. Declan’s always seemed to be in control despite a late surge to book their place in the final with a nine-point win.

St Vincent’s were up against 2018 GB Masters Champions Joe’s Boys. In the game of the weekend in front of a vibrant crowd, the English side took an early lead and maintained it all the way until the middle of the last quarter.

Trailing by seven, Vincent’s hit eight points in a row to take a lead with just a couple of minutes to go but Joe’s Boys regained the lead to reach the final.

There, Declan’s took an early lead and the physical exertions of the semi-final seem to catch up with Joe’s Boys who tired quite early. They did manage to pull back the gap but Declans hit a couple of big three pointers to seal their third title in five years.