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Magic St Mary's on the double at the Arena

BASKETBALL: It was double joy for St Mary's Secondary School of Baldoyle with their first and second year basketball teams winning the Dublin SSA (Secondary Schoolgirls' Association) Shield titles last Thursday at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght.

Coached by Eimear Considine and aided by Robert Fennell, the first years won the Division 1 SSA title in a thrilling match which finished 14-8 against a determined team from St Paul's in Greenhills.

While the second years, with Declan Burke at the helm, won the second year Division 2 title in an equally exciting match by a scoreline of 18-9 against reigning champions Our Lady's Drogheda.

It was a tense opening quarter in the Division 1 decider as Shauna Murray opened the scoring for St Mary's before St Paul's levelled the game.

Mary's captain Lauren Barker gave them a slender 4-2 advantage, but again the Greenhills school pegged Mary's back to level it 4-4 at the break.

Back-to-back scores from Rachel Dipeolu, who also won the Most Valuable Player award, put Mary's in the driving seat in the third quarter.



St Paul's closed the gap to 8-9 but great scores from Marija Malina and Aine Ryan put the game beyond Greenhills' reach as Mary's celebrated their first title win of the day.

In the Division 2 final, Mary's led 8-2, thanks to fine scores from Teresa Romero and Lauryn Moore, at the end of the first quarter. Our Lady's got it back to 6-8 at half time.

The Saints dominated the third quarter with strong offensive performances from Sarah Kearns, Lauren Waters, Moore and Romero to take a commanding 16-6 lead into the final quarter.

Despite constant pressure from the holders, St Mary's defended well alongside the excellent Romero, who was voted the Most Valuable Player, to claim their second title, much to the delight of their supporters.