Basketball: Colaiste Iosagain 25, Holy Faith Clontarf 57
IT WAS a busy day up in the Colaiste Iosagáin gym as the school prepared for the arrival of a very important dignatory.
As such, the gym looked immaculate. Coincidentally, Marie O'Toole's golden girls also had a mini celebrity in their midst with Clíona Máirtín back training with the under-19s after a year's absence.
The Meteors star's return is a massive boost to sport in the school at a time when many teams are struggling for numbers due to the massive rise in popularity of ladies football in the capital.
Another rising star is Eabha Ruitléis, who was the driving force for her team in this U16 clash on Friday.
She showed boundless energy going down the court but Holy Faith, under Jerome Westbrooks, defended resolutely.
Equally, Síle Ní Chofaigh-Bhroin and Orla Nic Dhomnaill did their best against what was relentless pressure from the Clontarf girls, who had a good spread of scoring throughout.
Holy Faith had put on the press from a very early stage with Katie Murray recording successive lay-ups before Eimear Beades dropped in a terrific basket.
Orla Nic Dhomhnaill pitched in with two scores for the home side but the visitors' high tempo game continued to reap dividends with Beades running down the lane before dropping in another score, 17-5 at the end of quite an eventful opening quarter.
Holy Faith began the second chapter well with early baskets from Fiona Terry and Nicole McGovern, the second coming off a rebound.
But they were reminded of íosagáin's counter attacking threat when Ruitleis intercepted before racing up to record a lay-up.
And with Nic Dhomnaill getting in some good blocks, Íosagáin continued to make good progress, with Aisling de Fuitleigh scoring off an intercept to put just nine between the teams.
But despite further pressure from Íosagáin, baskets from Fiona Terry and Katie Murray were to see Holy Faith in front 28-19 at the interval.
And they then put the game to bed in the third quarter with an early steal from Murray a clear sign of their intent and focus.
From there the scores began to come with McGovern, Enya Brady (who made some terrific runs from the base of the court) and Aoibheann Byrne all making telling contributions as Holy Faith increased their lead to 42-23 at the end of the third.
And despite some honest defence from íosagáin, Holy Faith remained in charge.
Holy Faith Clontarf: Saoirse Power-Cassidy, Nicole McGovern, Enya Brady, Eimear Beades, Fiona Terry, Katie Murray, Alison Wall, Aoibheann Byrne.
Coláiste Iosagáin: Aisling de Fuitleigh, Alanah Ní Nualáin, Iseult Ní Riordáin, Líadain Tobin-Schnittger, Síle Ní Chofaigh-Bhroin, Saoirse Ní Bhroin, Orla Nic Dhomnaill, Eabha Ruitléis, Katie Parceir, Jenny Ní Mhuireagáin.