Oatlands College 79, St Aidan's Cork 61
BASKETBALL: The folks down at Oatlands College have reason to be cheerful. By mid-term, their new sports hall will be up and running.
This is a testament to the terrific work being done at the Stillorgan school. The sport of basketball, in particular, is thriving under head coach Gavin Holmes and assistants Mark Bonfil and Sarah Mulligan.
On Friday they welcomed St Aidan's Cork, with Neptune star Ger Noonan running the line for the Leesiders.
In Roy Downey, Aidan's have a future star and coach Noonan said after the game that it is only a matter of time before he breaks into the Superleague side.
The highly rated underage international is just over a collarbone injury and, as such, his influence on Friday's game was diminished somewhat.
This, however, is not to undermine a terrific display from Oatlands, in which Uzoma Emuchay was outstanding in defence.
The first quarter was relatively close but as the clock ran down, Oatlands began to up their defence with Themba Nkoala and Emuchay blocking out two successive offences from the Aidan's team.
And although two visits to the free-throw line were to yield a nought from four return, Oatlands remained focused, with a drive from Irvin Gamede opening up an 11-point lead before Downey closed out the half with two successive frees to leave it 24-15 to Oatlands.
Oatlands exploded out of the blocks in the second period, with Gamede hitting four successive baskets before Paul Bracken dropped in a three-pointer as Oatlands moved further ahead.
And with Kerwin Moya linking up the play well, Oatlands continued their assault on the Aidan's basket. Gamede scored off a power drive before landing two from two to put Oatlands 39-17 up.
Aidan's, however, started to come back towards half-time and following a three-point play from Downey, the same player then laid up inside to leave the half-time score at 44-26.
Oatlands consolidated their lead in the third with two fine scores from Nkoala and Bracken the highlight as they went into the final quarter leading 60-43.
However, with Jordan Blount prominent for Aidan's, the Leesiders had cut the Oatlands lead to seven points with five minutes to go.
From there though, Oatlands were never troubled as they closed Aidan's down. With three minutes left, Gamede drifted inside and, after a lovely solo, glided the ball into the basket for the score of the game.
Oatlands College: Ivan Ray Casinollo, Greg Bautista, Themba Nkoala, Kerwin Moya, Vincent Regidor, Uzoma Emuchay, Gareth O'Reilly, Francis Paul Bracken, Billy Fernandez, Paolo Cruz, Derek Brackin, Irvin Gamede. Coach: Gavin Holmes. Assistants: Mark Bonfil, Sarah Mulligan.
St Aidan's Cork: Roy Downey, Jordan Blount, Gavin Duggan, Anthony O'Callaghan, Finbar Falvey, Shane Connolly, Jordan O'Connor, Dillon Collins, Corey Long, JR Nonescan, John Blount. Coach: Ger Noonan. Assistant: Phillip Cashman.