Monday, May 20, 2024

Creagh College seek All-Ireland basketball final place

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They will be playing against Mountmellick at 11.30 a.m., and if they win the final will be on at 2.30 p.m.

They won the south-east regional championships in SETU against Coláiste Abhainn Rí from Callan in Kilkenny before Easter.

This was Creagh’s first year up in the ‘C’ division after their Under-19s won Leinster and the first and second years secured south-east regional titles in the ‘D’ division last year.

The lads had to play All-Ireland qualifiers in Portmarnock on Wednesday against three teams to earn their place in this week’s semi-final.

Creagh were drawn against Portmarnock CS, St. Colman’s from Midleton, and St. Raphael’s from Loughrea.

This was a tall task as they had play all three games in one day, with only the top team emerging from the group.

Creagh played Portmarnock in the first game and settled well with some great performances all round. Filip Kopczak (7), Mateusz Kupczak (6), Alanas Baceicivius (6), Eoin Gethings (5) and J.P. Power (4) helped Creagh to a 28-14 victory.

Creagh’s next game was against St. Raphael’s, who had lost a tight opener to St. Colman’s in overtime on a 22-21 scoreline.

The break in between games seemed to kill Creagh’s momentum and even though they played solidly on defence, the offense failed to fire and were punished in the last quarter as St. Raphael’s hit a two-point shot in the final ten seconds to win 14-13.

Creagh had a long time to sit and think about how they could raise their game to try to qualify for the All-Ireland semi final.

St. Colman’s defeated Portmarnock 40-23, and then St. Raphael’s pipped Portmarnock with a buzzer-beater to win by one point.

The task in front of Creagh was clear as it was a must-win game against St. Colman’s. And with three teams potentially on six points, head-to-head results would come into to play so they needed to win by at least two.

St. Colman’s started well and took an 8-0 lead, but Creagh kept their heads and began to claw their way back one play at a time.

By half-time Creagh had tied up the game at 14-14. Another strong third and fourth quarter performance by Creagh helped them to victory 31-22, with scores from Alanas (9), Eoghan Moore (8), J.P. (6), Aaron Hourihane (6) and Eoin Gethings (2).

Although not on the scoresheet, Pádraig Higgins and Mikie Murphy played magnificently in the game against St. Colman’s to help Creagh to reach the semi-final.

There were great performances throughout the day and the squad, who have pushed each other to be better, all played a huge part in getting the school to this point.

Creagh College squad: Aaron Hourihane, Alanas Baceicivius, Antoni Bogacki, Conor Gethings, Eoghan Moore, Eoin Gethings, Filip Kopczak, Henry Blair, Jack Buggy, J.P. Power, Karol Platek, Luke Power, Macdara Corbett, Marcin Barszcz, Mateusz Kupczak, Mikie Murphy, Oisín O’Connor, Pádraig Higgins, Patryk Werra, Sam Hourihane, Scott Mangan.

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