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Lions U12’s Reach North Munster Cup Final in Dramatic Finish!

Lions U12’s Reach North Munster Cup Final in Dramatic Finish!

In the cup quarter final in January Lions secured a nail biting 3 point win against Springfield. The teams were level 3 times in the closing minutes before a crucial  free throw by Alfie McCoy and a steal and layup from Nathan Stanners gave Lions a 3 point win 29-26.

Lions then went back to league action and secured good wins over Ennis Panthers & Limerick Rockets. A disappointing  3 point defeat against Fr.Matthews in Cork was  a reality check for the young Lions just days ahead of their

semi-final against local rivals Limerick Lakers. Against Matthews Lions lead for most of the match before coming unstuck in the 4th quarter when the ball just would not go in the basket.

So the scene was set for a crunch away semi-final v Lakers in Presentation Gym. A delayed start and a decision to play with one referee heightened the tension in the gym with players from both sides keen to get going.

Lions started strongly and led 8-4 after the first quarter, Alan Fitzgerald & Liam Price scoring well for the Lions, and an overall good defensive display holding a physically taller Lakers side to 4 points.

Lakers came back strongly in the 2nd qtr scoring 10points to lead 14-13 at half time, Alfie McCoy and Christy Carroll scoring for the Lions. Lions started the 3rd quickly with Sean Morrissey scoring a strong layup to take a 1 point lead, but the Lions then struggled to score against a taller Lakers side, with Alan Fitzgerald going off injured after a strong drive to the basket was emphatically blocked. Lakers went into the final quarter with a 4 point advantage.

Again Lions started the qtr strongly with baskets from Nathan Stanners and Christy Carroll to bring the sides level at 19 a piece. Lakers responded and went ahead 3 times as the teams traded baskets with the score 25-24 to Lakers with less than 2 mins remaining.

Christy Carroll then drew a foul and brought the teams level with a free throw with time running out. Crucially Lakers then picked up their 5th team foul giving Alfie McCoy a trip to the line, he made 1 out of 2 and the Lions had their noses in front 26-25 with 45 secs

to go. A great steal on halfway followed by a layup by Alfie McCoy put the Lions up by 28-25 and then with seconds left Lions secured possession and again Alfie McCoy made one out of two to give Lions the win 29-25.

Top scorers for the Lions; Alfie McCoy 10, Alan Fitzgerald 6, Christy Carroll 5, Nathan Stanners 4, Liam Price 2, Sean Morrissey 2.

Joey Fogarty led the Lions in rebounding while Matthew Barry,  Adam Lengen, Stephen Shaw, Janis Pliesmanis and Pierce O’Rahilly defended strongly throughout!  The Lions now move onto the final in UL Arena on April 2nd!