Blue Demons U17’s did us proud over the weekend after reaching the semi final of the very prestigious U17 Billy Kelly tournament.
Coached by Shane Coughlan and Tim O’Halloran, Demons started nervously but managed to start with a win with a last second 3 pointer against a dogged Limerick Lions(42-40). Demons played Waterford Vikings next and won on a score line of 51-40 after an improved performance. Our 3rd pool game was probably the game of the tournament when we played Templeogue, who started strongly and surged into a 16 point lead but our lads upped their defense in the 3rd and 4th quarters and managed to get the game to overtime. The contest continued to ebb and flow in overtime in what was truly a great battle between 2 talented sides but our lads defense came out on top in the 2nd period of overtime to win 59-56 after holding Templeogue to a total of 10 points between the 4th quarter and the 2 OT periods. Our final pool game was against a very talented Moycullen team who hit the front from the tip off and won 56-27. This meant our lads had qualified out of a tough pool for the quarter finals on Saturday.
In our quarter finals we played Kubs of Dublin where we tore out of the blocks to lead 24-8 at the end of the 1st. Kubs came back into it but we lead 32-23 at half time. Despite Kubs rallying and managing to tie the match, Demons finished very strong to build back up a lead(50-39). In the 4th quarter both teams went basket for basket but Demons ran out winners on a score line of 64-54 after a very solid performance from all involved.
In the semi finals, we lined up against a highly fancied Dublin Lions. Our lads started well to lead 14-8 but Lions rallied in the 2nd quarter to lead 24-21. In the 3rd quarter, we couldn’t buy a basket as we had plenty of looks but couldn’t finish as Kubs lead 40-26. In the 4th quarter, our lads pushed hard despite finding it very tough to score and lost 48-39 after a very brave effort.
All our players and coaches can be very proud of themselves after some very tough games over the weekend and there is great hope for this team if they can keep improving. Thanks also to everyone who came out to support the team over the weekend.