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It's a green party for U16s

Ireland's Under-16 boys ended their 2010 European Championship series on a high after securing an 80-75 win over hosts Estonia.

The win ensured Ireland ended the 10-day tournament in 15th position, while the Czech Republic were crowned champions following a 61-53 win over Ukraine in the final.

Ireland's win over Estonia was their second success of the tournament after the Boys in Green proved too strong for Belarus in an earlier round.

Neptune's Roy Downey stole the headlines with a superb tally of 27 points against Estonia, helping to bring his average points scoring for the tournament to 12.4.

"This was a tremendous win for the boys," said Irish U16 head coach Paul Kelleher. "They put their heart and soul into this performance. They wanted to achieve something which hadn't been done by an Irish team in five years, which was to secure two wins in a major European competition.

"The excitement in the dressing room after the game was something I haven't witnessed before," added Kelleher. "We have faced so much adversity over the last six days especially and I felt against Estonia we used all that we learned over the past number of days to help achieve a successful outcome.

"The challenge for these boys now is to build on the win over Estonia and get ready for two years' time. I would finally like to thank all the support we received here in Tallinn from the parents and all the well wishers at home."

Meanwhile, Ireland's Under-16 girls are currently participating in their European Championships campaign in Macedonia with their superb win over Ukraine proving the highlight so far.

The girls showed tremendous courage to claim the 52-47 win, despite having less than 24 hours to recover from their opening day loss to a highly fancied Germany.

Michelle Clarke played a huge part in the success, claiming a highly impressive 20 points, while Leanne McDonnell, Laura Hoffman and Ciara Milroy all contributed healthily in the scoring stakes, combining for 12 points.

"A huge team effort was pivotal in the win," said Irish U16 women's head coach Dave Baker. "Everyone played and understood their role and there were no egos on the team.

"Every one of the players contributed and did what was best for Ireland -- not themselves."

A hard schedule this week sees Baker's charges take on tough opposition in the shape of Romania and England before concluding their tournament on Sunday.