A great start to another year of OLSS basketball with all teams competing at A level against some of the best teams in the country. As with every year the U16 and U19 boys and girls started their campaign in September and have been working hard since. Trials for 1st and 2nd year boys and girls have begun and the teams selected with training started for their competitions after Christmas. We would also like to give a special mention to Thomas Hughes who has kindly sponsored two new kits from his company Americold. Thomas is a past pupil and All Ireland champion for our school and his support is greatly appreciated.
In Our Lady’s we are fortunate to have such a high standard of players representing both inside and outside of school competitions.
2nd year student Lucy Carey and 3rd year student Rebecca Keenan were selected for the U’15 North East BIPPS (Basketball Ireland Post Primary Schools) team. The panel of 12 was selected from over 70 girls over 4 trial sessions. The girls trained all summer and competed in the All Ireland tournament weekend in University of Limerick on October 21st - 22nd where they represented our school. Ms Brady was manager for this team and Lucy Carey was nominated as captain by management..
5th Year Student Katie Glynn was selected for the U17 National Team Academy Programme. This programme will serve as a bridge to the U18 Ireland squad and will give players the chance to experience coaching and practice at the highest level. Katie who is now playing her basketball with the Killester and is a point guard for this Club in Dublin was selected for this academy programme after a series of trials involving players from all over the country.
2nd Year Student Emma Mc Guigan and 3rd Year students Annie Carroll and Rebecca Keenan were selected for the U’15 Ulster academy programme. This programme will serve as a bridge to the U16 Ireland team and girls must be on an academy programme to try out for the Ireland Squad next year. We wish the girls every success with the academies.
The U16 and U19 Boys and Girls play in an all Ulster A league along with any A schools from Louth or Meath. There are 12 teams in Boys A with 3 going forward to the All Ireland Series. Our U16s had two losses in the league, one to Pats Cavan and the other to a very strong St. Macartans side which left them short of a place in the semi finals. The U19 boys captained by Kealan Mc Mahon remained undefeated until they came up against defending All Ireland Champions St Malachy’s Belfast on November 14th last in the regional semi final. The boys had a very strong campaign defeating St. Pats Cavan for the first time in 5 years with an MVP performance from Charlie Mc Quillan. Vital offensive performances from Kealan and Ultan Mc Mahon and Arnas Gleeson were crucial to the boys success throughout the league. Conor Burns and Callum Campbell were also key players in defense, resulting in us conceding the least points of any team this season . The boys were narrowly beaten by Dunshauglin CC for 3rd place in the league and a spot in the All Ireland last 16 so they finished 4th in the region.
The U16 girls faced similar losses to the boys by just missing out on a spot in the Semi Final by one match. The U19 girls have a very strong team and lost only to Virginia gaining them a spot in the regional semi final. Stand out performances from Niamh Flanagan, Laura Grimes and Katie Glynn saw the girls win comfortably on their journey to the semi final. The girls came up against a very impressive Letterkenny side and just missed out on a place in the regional final and a spot in the All Ireland Tournament. Fortunately most of the girls are in 5th year and will have another opportunity to win a title next year.