Double joy for Liffey Celtic over Dublin Lions
There was double joy for Liffey Celtics over Dublin Lions at Oblate Hall in Inchicore last Saturday as they defeated the Clondalkin side in both the U16 and U18 Dublin Ladies Basketball Board Cup finals.
An amalgamation of three different local clubs, the Lions are based out of Coláiste Bríde and gave their all over the course of these two deciders. However, the Leixlip-based Celtics (who also draw a number of players from Lucan) proved to be formidable opponents and claimed the silverware on offer in fine style before also overcoming Meteors in an U15 final.
When the two sides clashed in an U16 Division One league encounter just seven days beforehand at Coláiste Bríde, Celtics were forced to dig deep before recording a 51-42 victory over their south Dublin counterparts.
Their rematch on Saturday was an interesting one for Erin Bracken, who is coach of the Dublin Lions men’s side in Division One of the National Basketball League but was involved with Liffey Celtics for this U16 showpiece.
Whereas the aforementioned league meeting of the teams was nip and tuck throughout, the north Kildare outfit had the measure of the Lions from the word go in their Cup showdown. Layla-Lee Dunne-Rave, Esther Nlbeumo and Caoimhe Gilligan all registered excellent scores for the Clondalkin girls, but the power of Celtics made it difficult for them to establish sustained momentum.
Despite starting the contest on the bench, Ciara Brogan contributed an impressive tally of 14 points for Liffey.
This haul was matched by influential point guard Kelly Bracken, while Mya Pardy also came away with nine points to her name. Although their attacking game caught the eye, Celtics’ pressure defence was every bit as impressive and they ultimately emerged as comprehensive 57-25 victors.
The U18 showcase between the same two clubs later on the same day was a tighter affair, but Dublin Lions still came up short on a final scoreline of 67-49.
This was their third clash of the 2021/22 campaign at this grade, with the Clondalkin outfit earning bragging rights at Leixlip Amenities on November 11 of last year before losing out to Celtics on home soil on February 20.
Courtesy of some big contributions from Katie Flanagan, Emily Smyth and Aoibhin Dunne, the Lions were firmly in the reckoning at the end of the third quarter. Niamh O’Leary, Niamh Sherlock and Emily Dwyer also led the way, but Celtics had that little bit extra in reserve to complete a perfect afternoon at the Inchicore venue.