THE NEW kids on the court in Dublin’s basketball circuit, the Dublin Sonics, bravely bowed out of the Under-12s Dublin Cup last Saturday after a semi-final defeat to Liffey Celtics.
Nonetheless, it has proven a momentous year for the club who formed in the past year and now run a number of underage teams from their base in Tyrrelstown.
Speaking after the semi-final, the club’s head coach Rob White said that the experience will stand to the young charges as they bid to grow in the local community.
“It’s a heartbreaking way to go out of the cup, but the team can hold their heads high,” he said. “They’ve only been together since September so we consider it to be a huge achievement to have gotten this far.”
The Under-12s coach, Muhammad Sabic, added similar thoughts, saying: “We went out today to reach a final and it’s bitterly disappointing to come so close, but it will make us stronger for next season and we won’t fear playing anyone.”
The Sonics welcomed Celtics to their Tyrrelstown home and both sides played out a thrilling semi-final for the 100-strong crowd in attendance.
This Sonics side only formed back in September and the club itself is less than a year old, having been founded in May last year.
Much to the credit of Sonics, the margin between themselves and Leixlip-based Celtics, one of the established clubs in Leinster whose sides play regularly in semi-finals and finals, was never more than four points in this as the lead swung from one team to the other.
The Blanch side edged out the first half by 19-17 and, going into the final quarter, the score was locked at 29 apiece.
But Celtics started that final period the stronger and applied pressure to Sonics which led to them conceding free throws on three occasions. That show of indiscipline, possibly down to lack of experience, was ultimately the doing of Sonics as the Celts converted four points from a possible six.
Despite that, Sonics clawed their way back and levelled the score 37 each with 90 seconds remaining but heartbreak followed as Celtic’s hit the winning basket with just 10 seconds left to play.
Both sides were rightly applauded off the court after a fantastic semi-final and despite the clear disappointment on the faces of the Sonics players, there were clear positives to take as they look to build for the future.
Dublin Sonics train from 4-5pm on Wednesdays and 12-2pm on Saturdays. All children aged six and up are welcome.