Basketball: U18 Men’s National Cup Final: Fr. Mathew’s 64, St. Vincent’s 63

25th January 2015
By Bryan Smyth

U18 Men’s National Cup Final

Fr. Mathew’s 64, St. Vincent’s 63

Cork side Fr. Mathew’s claimed their first men’s Under 18 cup title in
dramatic circumstances with a 64-63 win over St. Vincent’s of Dublin.
The outcome hung on the final possession of the game as St. Vincent’s
missed a three pointer from the corner to send the game into overtime.

The Dubliners had the brighter start with point guard Gavin O’Dea
showing early promise, his well-placed pocket pass for Tariq Guebaili
gave Vincent’s an early advantage. Guebaili himself was also causing
problems, taking the ball across the court and passing to Daniel
Heaney for two.

For Mathews, Jack O’Mahony was keen to establish his big game
credentials. He was attacking hard on the counter and picking up free
throws along the way. Mathews had yet to settle on defence and coughed
up a 10-0 run to trail for the quarter.

A 6-0 run put them back into contention in the second as Evan Barrett
dropped a three with Ryan Leonard assured at the line. Guebaili though
kept the scoreboard moving for St. Vincent’s with a well taken three
pointer of his own. Barrett responded with a basket from deep, as
Fr.Mathew’s showed that they weren’t going to sit back and admire the
Dublin’s side attacking abilities.

Vincent’s had fended off the first big run from Mathew’s, but the
second coming of the Cork men was to prove unstoppable. Fr. Mathew’s
equalised coming towards the end of the second quarter and the
outright lead followed soon after as Fr. Mathew’s led at the break

Ryan Leonard and Gary Pineda were stepping up and fizzing passes to
the interior while Jack O’Mahony kept barrelling forward. Emmet
Donnelly’s rotation allowed William McCarthy back into the game to
threaten inside but Fr. Mathew’s were in their pomp. They had the last
eight points of the third with the final play summing it up –
O’Mahony’s three pointer shook the net to the sound of the buzzer and
ended the quarter on a score of 53-49. It was all the way from
mid-court and right in front of the loud and proud travelling support.

“Once Ryan Leonard outletted the ball off the rebound, I knew I was
going to go for it,” he said. “That’s what the cup is all about,
moments like that.”

And courage. Vincent’s had bags of it down the stretch. Davidson was
sharp, O’Dea and Neary hit huge threes and they’d brought it back to
a one possession game. For an occasion of such all-out action, it was
a shame that free throws were so telling in the final seconds.
Vincent’s couldn’t make them go in. The game belonged to Fr Mathews.

“We got on runs and our scouting helped to expose their weaknesses. I
think that’s where we won the game, ” O’Mahony concluded.

Fr. Mathew’s 64, St. Vincent’s 63

Fr. Mathew’s Top Scorers: Jack O’Mahony 24, Gary Pineda 15, Evan Barrett 9

St. Vincent’s Top Scorers: Tariq Guebaili 24, Martin Neary 15, William
McCarthy 10

Half Time: Fr Mathews 31, St. Vincent’s 29

MVP: Jack O’Mahony

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