Basketball: Beaufort edge past íosagáin
Loreto's girls give it their all for a last gasp win
Loreto Beaufort 29 Coláiste íosagáin 27
Loreto Beaufort pulled off a terrific victory over Marie O'Toole's Coláiste íosagáin team at the Castle Park school in Dalkey on Monday to win through to next week's decider.
Pulling the strings for Beaufort from side court was former Irish international forward Neville Charles, who expressed great pride in his team as they mustered an unlikely victory over the íosagáin girls.
It was a game that went right down to the wire with íosagáin overcoming a six-point deficit to tie the game with just under two minutes remaining.
But with over-time fast looming on the horizon, Beaufort's Rachel Cleary popped up with the winning score to send the bench into hysterics.
Cleary's contribution aside, there was also a teriffic display in defence from Jenny Kirwan whose vigilance and countless blocks denied íosagáin many a crucial score.
Aoife Hughes showed herself to be a distributor of some repute while Amy Ormsby followed up on every rebound for her team.
As for íosagáin, they gave a good account of themselves with Aideen Ní Dhomhnaill making some good drives to the basket while éabha Rutléis showed plenty of potential in the number seven jersey. And Jessica Tobin was another who put in a good shift as she did a lot of cleaning up at the back for the Stillorgan girls.
The first quarter was a very tight affair with Cleary chipping in with two early baskets for Beaufort. Orla Donnelly was another player to make a basket before a terrific break from Ní Dhomhnaill saw Rachel Ní Mháille score off a rebound.
Ní Dhomhnaill then converted two from the free throw line to leave íosagáin up 10-8 at the end of the opening quarter.
And playing a 3-2 system, Íosagáin stretched their lead to four points off a Catherine Hayes rebound. But an Emma Hiney score and a one-point free throw from Sarah Kelly either side of a time-out then cut the deficit to the minimum. And although Rutléis recorded a power lay-up for Íosagáin, Amy Ormsby showed great determination to score off the rebound with a point at each end from Iseult Ní Riordáin and Hiney, making it a one-point game at half time, 15-14 in íosagáin's favour.
Beaufort beagan the second half with a basket from the classy Cleary and a one-point free from Laoise Casserly before a Ní Dhomhnaill lay-up under the Beaufort basket to tie the game once more.
And although the prolific Ní Dhomhnaill was to edge íosagáin ahead, Beaufort then went on a run of seven unanswered points starting with a one-point free from Ormsby.
Cleary then recorded successive rebounds and Casserly made good from a rebound to really put up to O'Toole's team.
And although Ní Mháille was to pop up with timely basket, Cleary then dropped in a score from the side to leave Beaufort 27-21 up at the end of the third.
But íosagáin were far from finished and showed terrific character to come back with Catherine Hayes picking off two excellent scores with Ní Dhomhnaill then dropping in the equalising score with 3.40 left on the clock.
A time-out was called two minutes later and then in the decisive score of the game, Cleary popped up with a lay-up to bring to an end a terrific game of basketball.
Coláiste íosagáin: Olivia Holbrook, Iseult Ní Riordáin, Catherine Hayes, éabha Rutléis, Rachel Ní Mháille, Aideen Ní Dhomhnaill, Jessica Toibín, Innesa Ní Fhearáin, Síle Ní Chofaigh, Orla Ní Dhonaill, Alannah Nic Eoin.
Loreto Beaufort: Aoife Hughes, Emma Hiney, Julie Saddler, Sarah Kelly, Ella McGolden, Laoise Casserly, Aisling Scully, Katie Devenney, Amy Orsmby, Rachel Cleary, Jenny Kirwan, Orla Donnelly.