All Ireland Title for Blackwater Steelers Blackwater Steelers created another bit
of history for themselves when they won the U14 B All Ireland Club Championships
Title outright down in UL Arena Limerick at the weekend. These U 14 lads have swept
all before them this season, winning the NEBB League, NEBB Top 4 Cup and now to crown
it all the All Ireland B Title and they thoroughly deserve it. Right from the start
of the season in September, they have been responsive, eager to learn and fully committed.
All 15 lads brought a great attitude to the training and to games and were a pleasure
to coach and they have been rewarded handsomely with their success, the club and
their parents can be really proud of them and they can be proud of themselves. The
team travelled down to Limerick on Friday evening supported by a large group of very
helpfull parents in preparation for an early start with their first game at 9.45.
Unfortunately 2 of our panel were unavailable and could not attend so it fell to
the mighty 13 to go to work.
Pool A Blackwater Steelers 34pts Queens 14pts (9.45am) The lads started off tentatively
in the first quarter and although the play was busy the score was low at 5pts- 4pts.
The Steelers got into their stride in the 2nd with Rio & Jamie grabbing most of the
scores to dominate this period and stride into a 21pts – 9pts lead. Queens responded
well in the third but the Monaghan men held firm and won by 6 to 4. The Steelers
eased up in the last but still won it by 7pts to 2pts. This was a job well done and
the boys were off to a great start. Team & Scorers: Rio Corrigan 12pts, Jamie Krisiulevicius
9pts, Tiarnan O Rourke 6pts, Matthew Curley 4pts, Mark Donohue 2pts, Kacper Ostrowski
1pt, Che Treanor, Conal Harpin, Enri Shiels, Finn Slater, Michael McMorrow and Donnacha
Blackwater Steelers 38pts Longford Falcons 34pts (12.05pm): The Longford lads looked
very strong as they warmed up before their game and that’s exactly what they were,
but the Steelers with a game already under their belt started brilliantly. Kacper,
Che and Tiarnan got all the scores but the defence with Michael and Conal were really
tenacious, they led by 10pts to 4pts. The Falcons were struggling to deal with the
Steelers speed and our first 4 scores came from the free throw line, but Longford
found their touch and hit back strongly. Jamie’s 7pts helped keep a good lead 20pts-12pts
by half time. Longford, with their big guns on the floor rained down a couple of “3”s
and as the Steelers shooting was a little off the lead began to dwindle. We only
managed 3pts in this quarter to keep a 2pt lead going into the last. The last quarter
was completely different as both sides went at it hammer and tongue; it was open,
free flowing basketball as the boys threw caution to the wind. Rio, Kacper, Finn,
Tiarnan and Jamie all scored in a heart stopping contest and despite going behind
by a point or so they had the character to seal the win by 4pts. The Steelers now
awaited the winners of pool C. Team & Scorers: Kacper Ostrowski 9pts, Tiarnan O Rourke
9pts, Jamie Krisiulevicius 9pts, Rio Corrigan 6pts, Che Treanor 2pts, Finn Slator
2pts, Matthew Curley 1pt, Conal Harpin, Gary Treanor, Mark Donohue, Michael McMorrow
and Enri Shiels.
AICC Semi Final (4.45pm) Blackwater Steelers 39pts Cavan Lakers 30pts Cavan Lakers
won Pool C to set up a local derby semi-final and if the truth was told neither coach
really wanted that. The Steelers had all the NEBB bragging rights after beating them
twice, and winning the League and Cup double, but the Lakers knew us better than
any team down there so had a slight advantage. The build up between the supporters
and parents was certainly good fun. Cavan started well, homework was done and the
Steelers weaker points exposed and there seemed to be no stopping R. McBride as he
hit all the Lakers scores. Kacper & Tiarnan scored for the Steelers as they trailed
by 10 to 4. With the defence strengthened and the resolve stiffened, the Steelers
went to work, this was their quarter and just by winning it by 3pts sent the strong
message out that Blackwater Steelers would not roll over, it also left Cavan with
a mounting foul trouble problem. The score was 11pts to 14pts. A big “3” from Tiarnan
levelled the scores straight away and this was followed with 2 baskets from Kacper.
The Lakers 10 was causing the defence some trouble as he posted and scored but an
excellent stand by Rio give the 10 his 5th foul and he certainly was a loss to Cavan.
Jamie hit 2 free shots to level the scores at 22pts each going into the last. As the
quarter opened Jamie hit a massive 3 pointer, then Tiarnan stole the ball of the
Lakers and scored so within 30 seconds Steelers had a 5pt lead. Although Cavan got
a basket back, Tiarnan pushed out the lead with 2 baskets and when Jamie hit another
3 the Cavan challenge wilted. The Steelers were not finished though with Rio and
Kacper both scoring before Jamie bagged his third 3 pointer of the quarter. The Steelers
were in the final, the score was 39pts to 30pts and boy a wonderful performance. Team
& Scorers: Jamie Krisiulevicius 18pts, Tiarnan O Rourke 11pts, Kacper Ostrowski 8pts,
Rio Corrigan 2pts, Che Treanor, Conal Harpin, Mark Donahue, Michael McMorrow, Donnacha
O Hanlon, Matthew Curley, Enri Shiels and Finn Slator.
U14 Boys B All Ireland Club Championship Final Blackwater Steelers 34pts
Limerick Lions 14pts
Blackwater Steelers went to St Munchins College in North Limerick for the final against
the local Limerick Lions. There was a strong Limerick crowd as you would expect and
because the Limerick Celtic girls had played there earlier. The first quarter was
very tight with both teams checking each other out, both teams found it hard to settle
with nerves certainly a factor. Kacper, Tiarnan and Che scored for the Steelers but
our usual good movement wasn’t present today and the Lions took the early lead with
a 5 – 6 lead at the end of the quarter.
The Steelers found their feet quickly in the 2nd quarter, they ran the point very
well with Jamie and the Lions struggled to deal with it, the Steelers took the lead
with the score at half time 12 – 9 without getting into anything like their full
stride. The coach would need to get them going better in the third.
In the third quarter the Steelers played some great basketball with some very clever
plays and some super defence, both Kacper and Rio were winning most rebounds in defence.
Kacper could hardly be defended and earned some excellent baskets. The Lions found
themselves in foul trouble early in the quarter and struggled to stop the Steelers,
who stretched their lead to 24 – 13.
In the final quarter the Steelers continued where they left off, super defence forced
the Lions into an outside shooting game. The Lions tried to get their game going
but nothing seemed to drop for them, the Steelers got 3 quick scores from Tiarnan
in the middle of the quarter to settle themselves down and they saw out the game.
Much jubilation followed the final whistle as captain Rio Corrigan lifted the cup
and called the team up for their medals.
Team & Scorers: Tiarnan O’Rourke 11pts, Kacper Ostrowski 6pts, Jamie Krisiulevicius
6pts, Rio Corrigan 6pts, Matthew Curley 3pts, Che Treanor 2pts, Conal Harpin, Gary
Treanor, Enri Shiels, Finn Slater, Michael McMorrow and Mark Donahue.
Homecoming: The hard working BWS committee and parents had organised a wonderful
homecoming celebration in the Westenra Hotel for the team and coach Tom O Connor.
That was a wonderful surprise and was enjoyed by all. See HERE for coverage.
2nd All Ireland Title for Blackwater Steelers
The Blackwater Steelers Girls created another bit of history for the club when they
won the U16 B All Ireland Club Championships Title outright down in Kilkenny at the
weekend. This is the second All Ireland Title for the club inside 2 weeks and is
just simply an outstanding achievement for the North Monaghan Club. The finalists
were our near neighbours Muckno Lakers, so the All Ireland Final was an All Monaghan
Final which is a real testimony to the brilliant coaching work that is being done
in the county. Despite finishing in 2nd place in the league behind the Castleblayney
girls, Delma, Fiona and the girls felt they have the measure of Gerry Smyth’s side
and this was a magnificent place to prove it. The girls have had a great attitude
to training and games all season and were a pleasure to coach and they have been
rewarded handsomely with their success, the club and their parents can be really
proud of them and they can be proud of themselves.
The team travelled down on Friday evening supported by a good group of very helpfull
parents in preparation for their first game at 11.15 in Old Leighlin, Co. Carlow
against the host club Old Leighlin BC.
Pool 3 Blackwater Steelers 38pts Old Leighlin 35pts (11.15am) This was always going
to be a difficult game; first match against the host club in their home gym, this
would test the Steelers character. They were a big physical team and from the throw-in
they took a score back for every score the Monaghan girls put up and the scores were
tied at 10 at the end of the first. Alex Mulligan got into her rhythm in the 2nd
and the Steelers led by 4 at the break. The Carlow side wouldn’t give up and they
reduced the Steelers lead to 3pts in the 3rd, there then followed a very tight, intense
and hard-fought final quarter but the Steelers showed that steely character and held
on to win 38 - 35. A great start! Team & Scorers: Alex Mulligan 22pts, Lara O Mairtin
6pts, Caoimhe Ward 4pts, Aisling NiGhallchoir 4pts, Mollie Molloy 2pts, Hannah O
Reilly, Dearbhla NiGhallchoir, Amy Deery, Gemma Johnston and Riona Kilpatrick
Blackwater Steelers 39pts Clonaslee BC 27pts (4.15pm) Clonaslee lost their first match
earlier in the day so they were determined to do well in this one. The Co. Laois
ladies came out all guns blazing and the Monaghan girls were immediately put firmly
on the back foot, slipping 6 points behind by the end of the first quarter. We had
a better start to the second, and stayed in touch throughout but could only close
the gap by a single point, 15 points to 20 down at half time. Steelers seemed to
find a new gear in the third with Alex and Caoimhe hitting 3,s and they went ahead
by 29 to 25 by quarter end. Baskets from Lara, Caoimhe and Aisling in the 4th helped
the Monaghan side forge ahead and they won it comfortably in the end. This was certainly
a difficult day but the girls topped the group and were through to the semi final
on Sunday morning. Team & Scorers: Caoimhe Ward 12pts, Aisling NiGhallchoir 10pts,
Alex Mulligan 9pts, Lara O Mairtin 6pts, Hannah O Reilly 2pts, Mollie Molloy, Dearbhla
NiGhallchoir, Amy Deery, Gemma Johnston and Riona Kilpatrick.
AICC Semi Final (Sunday 9.30am) Letterkenny Blaze 26pts Blackwater Steelers 36pts
The action for the Steeler girls switched to O Loughlin Gaels Gym in Kilkenny city
for a 9.30am start on Sunday morning against old friends Blaze. The Donegal girls
topped group 4 and had recently played the Steelers in a challenge so both knew each
other’s strengths. Both teams started nervously but Blaze came out on top, but only
just, finishing the first quarter 13-11 up with Aisling & Alex getting the Steeler
scores. Caoimhe Ward rattled in a big 3 as the battle continued into the second. Each
side was still nervous of the other resulting in a very low scoring period, in fact
Caoimhe was the only scorer for the Steelers and they now trailed by a single point:
19 - 18. The Monaghan ladies seemed to pick up the pace a little after the break,
defending well and holding the Donegal girls to a single score. However in attack,
we seemed to be missing the mark a little too. Nonetheless we finished the quarter
in the lead, 24 points to 21. In the last, Steelers settled into a good rhythm, continuing
to defend well and stretching the lead to win the game 36 – 26. Now an All Ireland
Final awaited and all the girls wanted to know was who were they going to play, eventually
the news came through, and would you believe it; An All Monaghan All Ireland Final
against Muckno Lakers who had overpowered everyone they had played so far. Team &
Scorers: Alex Mulligan 18pts, Caoimhe Ward10pts, Aisling NiGhallchoir 6pts, Lara
O Mairtin 2pts, Mollie Molloy, Hannah O Reilly, Dearbhla NiGhallchoir, Amy Deery,
Gemma Johnston and Riona Kilpatrick.
U16 Girls B All Ireland Club Championship Final
Blackwater Steelers 22pts Muckno Lakers 20pts After two tough group games and a tight
semi final, we arrived back in O'Loughlin Gaels Gym for the final against our neighbours,
and fellow NEBB members, Muckno Lakers, for an all-Monaghan, All Ireland final. Tensions
were high with both teams sizing the other up in the opening minutes - each defending
to the last, resulting in an extremely low scoring opening quarter - Steelers barely
leading 3 points to 1.
The intensity of the first period continued as you would expect in a local “derby”,
these sides know each other well and Gerry’s 1-3-1 defence will always keep scoring
to a minimum, its keeping the Lakers fast break game subdued is the trick but the
Steelers managed that and lead by a miserly 7pts to 6pts at half time.
Both teams were more relaxed after the break and Alex Mulligan did the damage for
the Steelers in this quarter by scoring 9 points from 3 point shots. Erin Hamill
and Grainne Tibby kept Muckno Lakers in the game in this quarter scoring 11 points
between them. Score at the end of 3rd quarter was 16 to 17 in favour of Muckno Lakers.
In the last quarter both teams tried very hard but scores were hard to come by.
The Steelers hit two big three’s early in the fourth and continued to defend heroically
under their own board. With a slight 4 point Steeler lead in the dying minutes Muckno
drove again and managed to break through to close the gap to a single basket. Steelers
stayed calm and held firm as the clock ticked agonisingly down to zero. The buzzer
sounded - Blackwater Steelers - All Ireland Champions - 22 points to 20. Commiserations
to Muckno who fought valiantly to the last second and congratulations to Delma, Fiona
and each and every one of our girls on a wonderful achievement. Well deserved!! Team
& Scorers: Alex Mulligan 13pts, Caoimhe Ward 5pts, Aisling NiGhallchoir 4pts, Lara
O Mairtin, Mollie Molloy, Hannah O Reilly, Dearbhla Ni Ghallchoir, Amy Deery, Gemma
Johnston and Riona Kilpatrick.
The hard working BWS committee and parents had organised a wonderful homecoming celebration
in the Westenra Hotel for the team and coaches Delma Mulligan & Fiona Boyd which
Congratulations Alex Just announced today Monday, Alex Mulligan has made the Ireland
U 16 Final 12 girls who are travelling to the FIBA U 16 Women’s European Championship
in Macedonia from August 15-27th 2017. What a wonderful few days it has been for
this young Glaslough lady, captaining her Blackwater Steelers team to an U 16 All
Ireland on Sunday (top scoring in 3 out of the 4 games) and the very next day MAKING
THE IRISH TEAM. Can life get any better??
We at Blackwater Steelers wish Alex hearty congratulations and the very best of
luck playing for Ireland.