The Senior Boys’ Basketball Team competed in the top level of schools basketball in Pool D of the Under-19 A All-Ireland Playoffs in Neptune Stadium on Sunday 21st January. With only one team to qualify for the All-Ireland Quarter-Finals it was always going to be a difficult task.
The first game was against the host school, St. Aidan’s Community College. The Jes started very well, but when St. Aidan’s changed defence towards the end of the second quarter, The Jes were too slow to get to grips with it and ended up losing 69-59.
The second game was against Coláiste Pobail Setanta from Dublin. The Jes once again put in a very strong performance and got their first win of the day on a scoreline of 72-51. With St. Macartan’s College, Monaghan, beating St. Aidan’s by thirteen points, it all came down to The Jes against St. Macartan’s, with The Jes needing to win by twelve or more points.
The Jes put in an outstanding performance, probably the best performance this team produced all year, and when they led by 13 points with three minutes to go, it looked like an upset was on the cards. However, St. Macartan’s came back with two three-pointers to reduce the deficit and qualify for the All-Ireland Quarter-Final. It was a great win for The Jes, on a score of 51-45, but there was a bittersweet feeling as they came so close to making it to the top eight in the top level of schools’ basketball in the country.
The school was promoted to the ‘A’ League three years ago, and the lads were outstanding in the All-Irelands, not only justifying being in the top division, but competing very strongly and nearly breaking into the top-eight schools in the country.
The players can be extremely proud of their achievement and how well they played on Sunday. They showed intensity, aggression, control and pride. They deserved their two wins, and got rewarded for their efforts, not just this year, but over the past six years in the school.