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*St Flannan’s College coach Darren Scully speaks to his players during the Basketball Ireland U19 C Boys Schools Cup Final match between Ballymakenny College and St Flannan’s College, Ennis at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght, Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

St Flannan’s success in the All-Ireland U19 Schools Cup Final will do wonders for raising the profile of the sport in the county, their winning coach has said.

Speaking following Tuesday’s 53-43 victory over Louth side Ballymakenny College, St Flannan’s coach Darren Scully pointed to their second half in which their defensive strength limited their opponents to just five points in the fourth quarter.

“We made small adjustments going into the third quarter, we changed our zonal slightly to take away their three pointers, we were still able to claim the rebounds when we changed it to two in the back, we restricted our numbers a little bit but they were so fit and able, they were great. Offensively we were getting our offence rebounds and that was key for us”.

21 January 2020; The St Flannan’s College team celebrate with the cup after the Basketball Ireland U19 C Boys Schools Cup Final match between Ballymakenny College and St Flannan’s College, Ennis at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght, Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

When they first began preparing for the national competition, the maths teacher believed the players were talented enough to taste success at this level. “Go back to the start of the year I thought we had a chance, after the first game I thought we had a chance and you keep thinking you have a chance then all of a sudden you’re hear fearing the worst but then everything works out, this is unreal. I’ve won stuff in other sports but this is one of my favourite wins, I’ve never won anything as a coach this is unbelievable”.

Scully who is from Nenagh is confident their exploits will boost the popularity of basketball in Clare. “It’s great, it’s really going to build the popularity of basketball in Clare. It puts a bit of pressure on us to come out next year with another good team, the lads have been working really well, they helped me and I think I helped them a little bit, it’s been wonderful and I’m delighted for the lads because they deserve it”.

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