Above: Despite a tremendous effort, the team agonisingly missed out on qualification, coming second overall on the day.
Following on from last year’s successes in Under 16 and Under 19 boys’ basketball, the Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí First Year Boys’ basketball team took part in the 2014 All-Ireland play-offs held on Thursday, April 10, in Clare Galway Community College. The team’s participation in the tournament was secured by winning the All-Ireland Schools’ South Division League. Qualification for the play-offs was a fantastic achievement by the players and a tremendous honour for the school.
On the day the team had three matches to play and, with only one team progressing from a group of four, their task was made even harder with a narrow loss in the first match to Skellighaven, Kerry. Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí then had to win their remaining two games and hope other results went their way in order to qualify. The next game was against Abbey School from Boyle in Roscommon. Knowing the task ahead, Coláiste Pobail were quick out of the blocks and were 12 points up by the end of the first quarter. From there the team never looked like relinquishing the lead, finishing up comfortable winners on a scoreline of 24-15
The CPB’s final match was against the hosts Claregalway. This was a very tight affair between two evenly matched teams. However, Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí, backed by strong scoring from Shane Murray, Thomas Flynn and Oisin Bennett, proved to have just a little bit extra in the final quarter and claimed their second victory with scoreline of 25-23.
Despite this tremendous effort, the team agonisingly missed out on qualification, coming second overall on the day. However the team can be extremely proud of their performance on the day, minimising the effect of losing top scorer, Liam Cotter to injury the weekend before the play-offs.