The U19 Girls’ Basketball team of St. Mary’s Secondary School Edenderry have finished off their season in style after winning the U19 Midlands Regional Basketball Final. On Thursday 6th December in St. Mary’s Hall Portlaoise, the home of National League side Portlaoise Panthers, St. Mary’s faced off against a talented side from Mounmellick CS. Both sides travelled with big support who made their voices heard creating a special atmosphere. The Edenderry girls started well with early scores from Lynn Herbert, Angela Brady and Saoirse Ankers who were set up by Leah Herbert to lead at the end of the first quarter 6-4. The second quarter saw chance after chance go amiss for St. Mary’s as the shots would not fall. Some strong defence from Mountmellick saw the momentum change in their favour and they took the lead. With Courtney Farrell and Thea Von Engelbretchen rebounding well on both ends of the court Edenderry settled down. Avril Donegan cut through the Mounmellick defence and tied it up just before half time, 9-9. The third quarter saw Mountmellick stretch their lead and in the space of 3 minutes had pulled away 19-9. St. Mary’s rallied late with some good passing from Emily Lawton and with Aoibheann McAndrew adding her name to the score sheet the score finished 19-13 at the end of the third quarter. St. Mary’s came out fired up for the final quarter. From the first possession they sliced through the Mountmellick defence with some excellent passing from the Herbert twins. Angela Brady scored 6 points in quick succession to bring the score to 19 all going into the last 6 minutes. A quick change in setup saw some incredible defence from Aoibheann McAndrew who along with joint captains Lynn and Leah Herbert stole the ball each time Mountmellick came into the St. Mary’s Half. The Edenderry girls took the lead as Saoirse Ankers began a fast break which finished with another score from Angela Brady. Mountmellick found themselves in foul trouble, putting Angela and Aoibheann on the free throw line. An excellent 3 pointer from Mountmellick closed the gap to 1 point with 2 minutes to go. After a quick timeout St. Mary’s upped the defensive intensity shutting down everything Mountmellick had to offer. An excellent pass from point guard Leah Herbert put Angela Brady through to score the decisive basket as St. Mary’s produced what could only be described as a phenomenal comeback to win 27-22. It was a fairy-tale end to a fantastic season for St. Mary’s which saw its 6th Year girls Lynn and Leah Herbert lift the trophy along with Shannon Kearney and Ciara Lawton giving great performances in the league stage. Saoirse Ankers, Emily Lawton, Courtney Farrell, Emer Lawless, Eva Barai Dafe, Chloe Pearson, Phil Flattery, Tara McDonnell and Claire O’Connor all played their part in the team reaching the final. What makes this performance more noteworthy is the fact that Angela Brady, Aoibheann McAndrew, Thea Von Engelbretchen, Agatha Drabik, Aisling Wall, Emma Norman, Stephaine Albert and Tara Dunne all started schools basketball for the first time in September. The coach of the team Mr. David McEvoy would like thank Ms Fiona Dunbar and the staff and students of St. Mary’s Edenderry for all their support throughout the year. Also to the Edenderry Lions Club for their sponsorship and support. He also paid tribute to the fantastic squad of 22 girls who worked so hard to bring a basketball title back to Edenderry.