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Bray boys primed for Belfast battle

The boys of Presentation College Bray make their now customary trip to the National Basketball Arena next Tuesday where they take on the mighty St Malachy's of Belfast in the U19A league final.

This a repeat of the 2012 Cup decider with Lorcan Murphy's 27 points inspiring the Seasiders to a 60-51 win.

And while Bray lost their grip on their title after defeat to St Joseph's, the Bish came through a gruelling league campaign to claim a place in the final.

Certainly Marie O'Toole's team had to pull out all the stops to overcome St Fintan's in the winner-takes-all semi-final pool clash, when some terrific offensive rebounding saw them win out by eight points

Murphy will again be the kingpin for Bray, but with a good supporting cast of Luke Gorman, Marc Lennon and Irish U18 Andy Bartley, Bray are not short on depth.

Nonetheless, Malachy's are expected to start as warm favourites as they chase a league and cup double.

Coach Adrian Fulton along with the two Quinn twins, Conor and Aidan, can also call on the likes of Liam Pettigrew and Oisín Kerlin.

The next day OLM Drimnagh, under Karen Taffe, take on Coláiste Chiarain Croom in a noon tip-off.

The lack of a transition year in the school means that Drimnagh have played against players two years above them in most cases and, as such, reaching the final has been a wonderful achievement.

Aidan Dunne was their top performer in January as they came through their All Ireland qualifying pool unbeaten. And then at the start of March they defeated Coláiste Ailigh from Letterkenny 65-40 in the semi-finals with Ian Ligaton (20pts), Nathan Keech (20pts) and Dunne (14pts) leading the way.

Fixtures

Tuesday

NBA – U16B Girls: Pres Secondary School Waterford v St Louis Monaghan 12.0pm; U19A Boys: Pres College Bray v St Malachy's Belfast 1.30pm. U16A: Christ King Cork v Virginia College 3pm

Wednesday

NBA – U16B Boys: Moyle Park, Dublin v Cnoc Mhuire Granard Longford 10.30pm; U16C Boys: OLM Drimnagh v Col Chiaráin Croom 12pm; U19B: St Columbs Derry v Kinsale CS 1.30pm. U16C: Mercy Ballymahon v Col Oiriall 3pm.


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