Bray put pay to brave Monastery
Decider looms as boys dig in for win
Presentation Bray 51
North Monastery AG 47
The boys from Presentation College in Bray made the National Arena their home last Friday as they booked their place in the U19A decider to be held on the 26th.
Marie O'Toole's team brought with them a terrific support, who having draped the famed Tallaght arena in the Bray colours of black, yellow and Red, brought the house down with their own unique theatre of noise.
As such, they were the Bray team's sixth man as they pulled off a terrific win to set up a revenge clash with St Fintan's High School who had beaten them in the Leinster Finals in December.
Watching from the side of the court was Ed Randolph, featured in this week's Sunday Independent 'Where Are They Now' column.
The former Superleague star was watching youngest son Neil, who turned in another smashing display for the Wicklow outfit.
But when it came to pure passion in the jersey, Rory O'Neill showed it in bucketloads and he was to have a very big game for Bray.
Rory O'Neill would eventually leave the game on five fouls with 3.36 left in the game but with O'Toole and assistant John O'Byrne encouraging them on from the sidelines, they survived the last few minutes to win through to the decider.
Coaching North Mon was Neptune stalwart Ger Noonan, whose St Aidan's team had ended Bray's U16 three-year unbeaten run last month down in Stillorgan.
But the Leesiders trailed 27-20 in the first half following some excellent scores from Randolph, Neil Doyle and Rory O' Neill.
However, the formidable duo of Paul Cummins and Luke O'Mahony saw the blues back in business in the third as they closed the gap to a single point with a minute remaining.
But Bray rallied with scores from Brendan O'Neill and Randolph with Lorcan Murphy then converting one from two to make it 40-32 heading into the final period.
But North Monastery renewed their efforts, with Cummins and O'Mahony showing terrific inside play to put the Cork boys in front 43-42.
And with Rory O'Neill now off court, Bray had serious questions to ask of themselves, and that they duly did with a tremendous block from Neil Doyle setting up a Bray attack instigated by Randolph.
Randolph drew the foul and scored both of his free throws, with O'Toole then scoring successive lay ups to put five between the teams with just under two minutes to go.
Whatever chances North Monastery had of salvaging a result went when O'Mahony exited the court with a minute to go.
And from there Bray closed the game out with Doyle and Brendan O'Neill registering scores before Doyle broke down court to record the clinching score with a left-handed basket.
Presentation Bray: Neil Curran, Neil Doyle, Kevin O'Neill, Jeff McCann, Lorcan Murphy, Eoin O Dea, Neil Randolph, Brendan O'Neill, Sean Rooney, Kieran Slocum, Rory O'Neill, Emmet O'Toole, Emil Grochowski.
North Monastery: Stephen Barrett, Frank Quinn, William Rodgers, David Gavin, Michael Walsh, Sean Rodgers, Mark O'Leary, Paul Cummins, Luke O'Mahony, Sean Field.