St. Nathy’s College fell just short in their All-Ireland U16 C Girls Schools cup final as St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Ballybunion held off late pressure to win 37-31.
A standout performance from Millie Byrne for the Kerry school saw her hit a game-high 21 points, with four of these points coming in the fourth-quarter to help kill off the St. Nathy’s comeback.
Amy Doory was the standout for St. Nathy’s, as she put in a big 16 point game and along with Sarah Brett caused problems for the St. Joseph’s defence throughout.
An extremely close first quarter saw scores at a premium. Sarah Bretty led the way for St. Nathy’s bagging two well-taken baskets, while a basket from Amy Doory kept their account ticking over.
However they were matched score for score with Millie Byrne to the fore for St. Joseph’s and a superb three pointer just before the buzzer edged St. Joseph’s into an end of quarter 10-6 lead.
Two minutes gone in the second quarter, St Joseph’s stretched their lead out to six.
Big defence from St. Nathy’s saw them pull a great score back through Sarah Brett but apart from a free throw from Amy Doory, that was to be Nathy’s only score in the quarter, as St Joseph’s took control of proceedings, with scores from Eabha Moloney, Mai Whelan, Katie Dunworth and Byrne seeing them into an 18-9 half time lead.
A close third quarter followed, with Doory putting in a superb display for St. Nathy’s to include a massive three pointer and two well taken two-pointers.
Two well worked two-pointers from St. Nathy’s Ava Hanley kept the St Joseph’s defence on their toes, but good work from Byrne, Whelan and Abigail O’Neill at the other end kept their lead intact, as they headed into the fourth-quarter with a 31-20 point cushion.
The final quarter was a much tighter affair, St. Nathy’s throwing everything they had at St Joseph’s to outscore them 11-6 in this quarter.
Superb work from Doory was again the main talking point for the Roscommon side, as she chipped in a big six points, while a lovely three-pointer from Hannah Brett and a Sarah Brett two-pointer saw them close the game right back to six points with just three minutes remaining, ensuring a nervy finish.
Despite the big effort though, it wasn’t enough in the end, as Byrne continued to dazzle at the other end, and a nice finish from Kate Dunworth sealed the victory for St Joseph’s 37-31.
St. Nathy’s College, Ballaghadereen (Roscommon): Ava Hanley (4), Nicole Noonan, Amy Doory (16), Naomi Cahill, Hannah Brett (3), Leah McCabe, Sarah Brett (8), Chloe Convey.
St Joseph’s secondary school, ballybunion (Kerry): Eabha Moloney (2), Elida Buckley, Nora Fitzsimons, Kayleigh Elbell, Mai Whelan (3), Abigail O’Neill (3), Caoimhe O’Connor (2), Katie Dunworth (6), Millie Byrne (21), Aoife Scanlan, Aisling Hennessy, Ava Barrett.
MVP: Millie Byrne (St Joseph’s)