The Harlem Globetrotters, the LA Lakers, the Boston Celtics now the Loreto Crumlin Tigers. Basketball in Loreto Crumlin has enjoyed unprecedented success over the last two years building on a four year progression.
Despite the lack of training facilities, the current team has brought honour to the school, its staff and the pupils as two time All Ireland champions. In 2014 this group of students reached the Under 19 quarter finals despite their youth and inexperience at that level. With the ever present coaching of Darren McGuinness, the team has evolved and a year later they had progressed to an All Ireland semi final.
In February 2016 the girls won the All Ireland final in a thrilling encounter at the National Basketball Arena beating St. Aidan’s 33 – 27 with Claire Quinn Nealon awarded the MVP trophy. The team were back in the final in January 2017 after defeating Colaiste Oiriall in the semi final in a high scoring game 73 – 66 with Claire contributing 28 points and Ciara White a further 26 points.
The final at the Tallaght arena again gained massive exposure as it was broadcast live on youtube with the commentators lauding the success of the team and their coach, In the final we defeated Gort Community School 59 – 38 with Claire again picking up the MVP trophy. The match was also featured in the Evening Herald with a team photo.
Despite the growing trophy and medal haul, the team would love to see improved facilities at the school as training at St Kevin’s on Clogher Road and home games played at the Oblate’s Inchicore gives the team little chance to show off their great school to visiting teams.
It has truly been a remarkable four year period for all those involved, a golden era of basketball at Loreto Crumlin. With games played all over Dublin, Leinster and as far away as Galway and Monaghan, the team spirit and sporting nature has brought honour to their school.
The coaching of Darren McGuinness has helped the team grow, their skills expand and the trophy cabinet filled. The support of Ms Dillon, Ms. Maxwell and Mr Quinn has been of enormous benefit.
Here’s to further success in the future. The Loreto Crumlin team that won the 2017 Under 19B Finals were Niamh White, Claire Quinn Nealon, Ciara White, Reanne Devlin, Rebecca Bohan, Chelsea Whelan, Tara Brilly and Taylor Smith.
Article – Rebecca Bohan
The team received a further honour at the end of February when they were named “Team of the Month” for January by ‘The Echo’ newspaper in conjunction with South Dublin County Council and the Green Isle Hotel. Read Stephen Leonard’s article here
Watch an interview that Stephen Leonard of “The Echo” did with Claire Quinn Nealon and Niamh White.
Take a look at some images here, some of which are courtesy of ©INPHO/Gary Carr