The Ulster Community Games finals took place in Letterkenny last Saturday and Ballyshannon Basketball had four teams participating.
First game of the day was U13 boys playing Cavan in the semi-final and it turned out to be the game of the day.
With more excitement than any game in the Euro finals our boys took the lead early and while it was nip and tuck the whole way they always seemed to be in control. Cavan only catching us at the end of normal time bringing the game to extra time. Again we took the lead immediately but having lost Paddy McCafferty to foul trouble told the tale and extra time ended level. Going into the 2nd extra time Ballyshannon took an early lead again but all the excitement of sport and all the disappointment of sport was to be the final story for us as Monaghan won the game by scoring 2 free throws giving them the smallest lead of 1 pt – heartache for Ballyshannon but congratulations to all the boys, Odhrán Kennedy, Conal Sweeney, Odhrán O’Neill, Caolán Dolan, Paddy McCafferty, Jack Scott, Marvin Dale, Diarmuid McFadden, Kevin Heeney and Michael Melly (missing on the day) who played their hearts out and learned just how tough sport can be.
Our mixed U11 team were up next and the nerves of being in an Ulster final showed for the boys and girls taking them into the 2nd quarter before they settled. Unfortunately Monaghan had taken advantage of this and went 10 pts up before Ballyshannon settled. These 10 pts were never to be gotten back and Ballyshannon suffered another disappointment. Well done to all the team, Tiernan & Diarmuid Dolan, Philip Cassidy, Senan Rooney, Mark McGlynn, Grace O’Sullivan, Cáit Gillespie, Caoimhe Keon, Aileen Roper and Ruth McNulty (missing on the day). We will definitely we seeing more of these boys & girls in the future.
The U13 girls featured next playing Monaghan in the final. The girls took the lead early and held on to this lead through the whole game. Ballyshannon were definitely the stronger team here and congratulations to Shelley Loughlin, Saoirse McDevitt, Tara Duffy, Dearbhla O’Moore, Rebecca Gillespie, Leona Cleary, Alannah Ryan, Ana Keon, Sarah Robinson, Mary Flora Scott and Emma Rooney now Ulster Champions and on their way to Athlone in August.
Our U16 girls were last to play and unfortunately were missing three of their players. The girls had a great game against Monaghan and were unlucky to lose out by 5 pts. Well done to Roise Keon, Ruth Flood, Claudia Coughlin, Niamh Toolan, Eanna O’Connor, Ciarde Sheerin and Eimear Cleary.
Well done to all coaches, Louise Foy, Tracey Flood and Paul McDevitt and all the players who did themselves and their club proud. Thanks to Letterkenny Blaze who hosted the finals and congratulations to Donegal Town U16 boys who also won their final against Monaghan.
Bundoran’s under-12 girls won the seaside town’s first ever underage Ulster football title last Saturday at the Community Games finals in Letterkenny.
Representing Donegal they overcame the formidable challenge of Baileborough, Ulster champions in the last two years and All-Ireland runner’s-up last year, in a pulsating game which ended 2-3 to 1-4 in favour of the Donegal side.
teelstown the Derry champions looked the stronger side in the first half, leading by 2-1 to no score as half-time approached but a Derval Carr goal and Megan McEniff point just before the break gave Bundoran a new lifeline. Steelstown again took control in the second half and led by five points with ten minutes remaining.
McEniff pulled back a goal for Bundoran but Steelstown immediately found the net and continued to lead by five points as the game entered the last five minutes. Rachel Currid and Rachel McGee both powered through for Bundoran goals as the clock ticked down.
Steelstown levelled matters on the stroke of full t ime but in the final attack of the game McGee split the posts to send the Donegal side through to the All-Ireland finals in August.
Bundoran: Sara-Jane Smith, Aine Dillon, Yasmin McKee, Allanah Hamrogue, katie McEniff, Rhona McEniff, Niamh Sheridan, Megan McEniff, Rachel McGee, Dervla Carr, Orla McGrath, Anna Gavigan, Elodie Voltaire, Rachel Currid and Rebecca McGlone.