Report: Eamonn Keogh
THE under 12 girls of St Paul’s Basketball Club, Killarney have created a significant bit of history after being crowned champions in both the Cork and Kerry A leagues this season.
The Killarney girls had already clinched the Kerry title and there was further good news this week when the Cork Ladies’ Basketball County Board decided to award league titles to the teams currently on top of their respective league tables.
This is the first time in history that a St Paul’s juvenile team has won the Cork league which makes it even more special for this young team who have to ability to progress even further in the years ahead.
The St Paul’s girls started off their campaign in the Kerry county league division one with wins over tough opposition such as Tralee Imperials, St Mary’s of Castleisland and Glenbeigh Falcons.
They were crowned Kerry champions after some solid performances in the league and also secured the Kerry Cup title against a strong Tralee Imperials team.
It was an extremely busy season for the young Killarney girls and the decision to participate in the Cork league also reaped rewards. The team were involved in some really exciting games against some top teams from the Rebel county and many of the away games were played in the iconic Parochial Hall in Cork.
St Paul’s registered significant victories over Carrigaline, Cobh, Glanmire, Waterford Wildcats and Limerick Celtics and they also playet a thrilling encounter against Mallow in Kilcummin Hall with the Killarney side eventually claiming the win after two periods of overtime.
The St Paul’s girls had also been looking forward to a tournament in London during Easter but, unfortunately, it was cancelled due the Covid-19 crisis.
Coached by Padraig Weldon, it certainly turned out to be a memorable season with the unique double success for this young Killarney team.
The Last Dance, featuring NBA legend Michael Jordan, has been the global basketball story of the year but for this talented St Paul’s under 12 girls’ team, it is a season that may well be remembered as The First Dance in years to come if they continue to progress and deliver on their true potential.
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