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Ireland U16 Europeans   19/08/2017

Ireland U16 men finish Europeans on a high while U16 women lose out to Belgium

Ireland Under 16 men’s basketball team wrote their own piece of history this afternoon as they stormed home to an 83-78 point win over Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 11-12th place classification game.

 In what has already been a superb summer for Irish international basketball, the under 16 men continued the trend today, securing a massive 11th place finish in the European Championships. Ireland not only finished their Europeans campaign in style, but did so over a team who – just five days ago – beat them in the Group stages 71-97.

 An even first quarter saw the teams trading baskets, with Sanmi Fajana, David Lehane and Tiernan Howe the stand out shooters to send Ireland into a 21-18 point lead at the end of the first. A superb second quarter from Cian Daly, which saw him get in some vital assists and steals served to enhance and already strong defensive display from the boys in green. Fajana continued to clock the scores for the Irish, and they held a five-point lead at the break, 40-35.

 The third quarter is where things got a little shaky for Ireland as Bosnia & Herzegovina hustled to close the gap and managed to take their first lead in the game. Ireland regrouped quickly though, with Paul Kelly leading the charge with a perfectly placed pace to Oisin Rice who hit the long three, and Ireland were back in control by the buzzer. It certainly wasn’t over though, and the final quarter was a battle of will and determination. Strong defence kept Ireland on top, and Nathan Moore showed his cool head from the free throw line to send Ireland home to a memorable and historic victory, 83-78.

 “It was what we thought it would be, last game, last day, let’s find out what we have left in the tank,” said Head Coach, Pat Price. “We reminded the team in the third quarter, that we needed to want this more than Bosnia. A lot of the team made a couple of great plays and did a lot of defensive stops at critical times, so I’m very proud of them and proud that they could rally after such a tough game last night. They said they wanted to end this thing in the right way and they really did.”


 Meanwhile, Ireland U16 women had to settle for second best in the face of a classy Belgium side this afternoon, as they lost out 36-82 in their third pool game at this year’s FIBA U16 European Championship Division B. The girls in green started off extremely well, with Abby Flynn getting the Irish off the mark early on. Good scoring from Alex Mulligan, Ciara Bracken and Katie Williamson saw Ireland take the lead, 11-10, with three minutes to go in the first, but a huge run by the Belgium team as the clock ticked down saw them go on an 11-point run to hold an 11-23 point lead at the buzzer.

 Belgium had truly found their feet and Sam Van Buggenhout and Emma Bell controlled the scoring as they continued to put the pressure on Ireland – the former finishing the game on 22 points. Solid defence from Niamh Kenny, Katie Walshe and Ciara Bracken just wasn’t enough in the face of the slick Belgium side and they drove on to lead 16-47 at the half. An inspired third quarter display from the Irish saw Flynn, Walshe, Bracken and Mulligan all add some great scores to close the gap somewhat, and Katie Williamson and Kenny worked hard to pull down the rebounds.

 However, as the clock ticked down, Belgium had that little bit extra and added eight points in quick succession to ensure they had a 32-67 point cushion going into the last. The Irish never gave up, with Erin Maguire, Lauren Bracken, Mia Furlong and Ciara White leaving it all on the court, but it just wasn’t enough as the sharp shooting Belgium team drove home to a 36-82 victory in the end.


 IRELAND U16 MEN: Paul Kelly (10), CJ Fulton, Nathan Moore (3), Andrew O’Connor, Cian Daly (5), David Lehane (13), Daire Kennelly, Oisin Rice (6), Tiernan Howe(10), Sanmi Fajana (26), Daniel Arimoro (10), Ronan Cregan.

 IRELAND U16 WOMEN: Abby Flynn (7), Ciara Bracken (6), Lauren Darcy, Erin Maguire, Anna Lynch, Ciara White, Niamh Kenny, Mia Furlong, Lainey Nolan, Katie Walshe (8), Alex Mulligan (9), Katie Williamson (6)

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