Malahide Community School put in a stunning second half performance to be crowned Under-16A boys All-Ireland Schools Cup champions at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght on Monday.
Stand out displays from MVP Christian McDonnell, Sean Fitzpatrick and Matthew Poole of Malahide saw them combine for a big 37 points and a strong win.
An extremely close first half saw nothing separating the sides early on. McDonnell and Poole dominated for Malahide, bagging all of their scoring for the quarter.
But good work from St Patrick’s saw Daniel Oyeleye and Ciaran O’Brien net some good scores early, while a big three from Cillian Moran helped keep Malahide in check, leading by just one at the end of the first quarter, 8-7.
The second quarter continued in the same vein as every time Malahide managed to get some breathing room on the scoreboard – through scores from McDonnell, Oran Flannery and a great three pointer from Fitzpatrick – St Pat’s stepped up with a reply every time.
Leading 20-18 at half-time, Malahide began to take the reins in the third quarter, though, and put in a huge defensive display, keeping St Patrick’s to just three points in the quarter.
At the other end, McDonnell bagged the opening six points of the quarter while another big three from Fitzpatrick followed to stretch their lead out.
Two well-taken scores from Poole were followed by another big three from Fitzpatrick and, despite a well taken score from Oyeleye, Malahide had built up a 36-21 point cushion, outscoring St Patrick’s 16-3 in the period.
St Patrick’s weren’t going down without a fight and a superb final quarter from Arnoldas Juska kept the game tense and nervy throughout, as he opened the period with four quick points.
Good scoring from Fitzpatrick, McDonnell and Eoin Timmons at the other end managed to keep Malahide out in front and they won out by 13 points.