Colaiste Colm Tullamore 58 (26)
Palmerstown Community College 62 (34)
MVP Cyril Kwan
Report by John Finegan
A very strong middle half to the U19B boys cup final gave Palmerstown Community School enough of an advantage to see off the challenge of a very brave Colaiste Choilm, Tullamore.
MVP Cyril Kwan from Palmerstown led the charge with some superb three-pointers and despite a very late surge from the Offaly raiders, Palmerstown held firm to lift the cup.
A deafening roar got the match-up underway and Colaiste Cholm Tullamore got off to much the brighter start, buoyed on by the first score of the game thanks to early good work from Guard James Lalor. Indeed, Lalor was a prominent figure throughout for Colaiste Choilm and scored some late points to give his side some hope in the closing stages.
Tullamore settled quickly and raced into a 10-4 lead leaving Palmerstown Community School coach John Glennon fearing the worst for his side. A spate of missed chances especially from steals went begging, as at the other end Colaiste Cholm kept scoring at will. A time-out from Palmerstown seemed to settle the early nerves and they came out much more like a cohesive unit.
But everything Colaiste Cholm touched seemed to be turning to gold with Mark Dubrov scoring an excellent two-pointer before team-mate Ciaran Moloney limped off with a minute left of the first quarter. In the dying seconds, Kwan fired in a three-pointer to give his side a lifeline, going in 12-8 down.
The second quarter saw some much better attacking from Palmerstown (who outscored Tullamore 26-14) and Kwan was at it again with another super three-pointer to draw his side to within a point of Tullamore. However, that prompted an immediate response from the Offaly boys who responded with a brilliant three-pointer of their own.
Palmerstown were stealing possession at will but were missing the scoring opportunities.
Kwan looped in another shot from outside the circle to put Palmerstown into the lead for the first time (17-18) and shortly afterwards his team-mate Gori Afolahan missed an opportunity to put some daylight between the teams.
As the quarter progressed, Palmerstown got stronger and stronger and forced Colaiste Choilm to begin their defence very high up the court. More three-pointers from the magic Kwan and some missed free throws from Tullamore’s Jack Dunne saw Palmerstown lead at half-time 26-34.
The second half begun much like the first had ended with Palmerstown in control and taking their scores. They stretched into a deserved 28-42 lead. However, Colaiste Choilm gathered themselves under Amanda Hogan’s guidance from the touchline and fought back to trail 35-46 with under three minutes left in the third quarter.
Colaiste Choilm staged a mini-comeback with some good scores and solid defending to trail at the end of third quarter 41-48.
The final quarter was a tense affair for both teams. The Offaly boys were pushing hard to close the gap while the Dublin side were holding out.
There were plenty of fouls as the pressure mounted on both sides in a scrappy ending.
However, Palmerstown kept chipping away with two-pointers while Colaiste Choilm chased the game.
Every missed opportunity by Palmerstown was cheered like a score form the Tullamore section of the crowd. Colaiste Choilm were asserting some extreme pressure on the Palmerstown defence but the Dublin boys held on for a deserved victory.
Colaiste Colm Tullamore 58 (26) ( J Lalor 18, D Byrne 12, J Dunne 13)
Palmerstown Community College 62 (34) (C Kwan 20, 11 L Glennon 13, N Eniafe 11)