St Eunan’s College face Ard Scoil Rathangan, Co Kildare, today at the National Basketball Arena in the U19A Boys All-Ireland Schools Cup final, 1:30pm.
The Letterkenny side are on something of a white-knuckle ride in the competition having come through the last two rounds in dramatic fashion by just a single score on each occasion.
St Eunan’s defeated St Pauls’ College from Raheny in Dublin in an epic semi-final 78-75 following over-time just a fortnight ago at St Malachy’s College in Belfast.
In the quarter-finals, Douglas Community School form Cork were accounted for at the Letterkenny Community Centre, 65-63, while a 78-64 scoreline produced victory in the last 16 against Gael Cholaiste Mhuire AG in Cork.
It was back in October that St Eunan’s opened their campaign with a 72-62 victory over Colaiste Iosagain Portarlington, Co Laois, at Letterkenny Institute of Technology.
“They’ve been a bit too tight and that’s not good for the nerves,” said Ian McGeever, the St Eunan’s coach.
“But after Christmas we had a lot of players unwell with chest infections, kidney infections - you name it - so they showed great spirit to get through the semi-final.”
McGeever has less concerns over fitness now with a fully fit squad to choose from.
“We had every at training on Thursday night and that was perhaps the first time that happened since September,” he added.
“It’s good to be getting everyone together at the right time.”
It’s the first time ever that St Eunan’s have made the U-19A final, although a number of their panellists have experience of playing at the arena last year when Letterkenny Blaze lost to Templeogue 58-47 in the Men’s National U-18 Cup Final.
Ard Scoil Rathangan, for their part, were comfortable 84-66 semi-final victors over St Malachy’s from Belfast in Dublin earlier this month.
Calasanctius College from Oranmore, Co Glaway, were overcome 91-59 in the last eight following wins over Belvedere College, Dublin (70-49) and Mercy Mounthawk, Tralee. Co Kerry (75-72)
St Eunan’s College , Letterkenny, squad: Mathias Traulsen , Thomas Vaughan, Matthew Deeney, Aaron Deeney, Raymond Rodgers, David Whoriskey, Andrew McGeever, Mark Thornton, Cale O’Donnell, Sean McGettigan, Jack Lawler
Coaches: Laura Deeney and Ian McGeever.