1945-46 Basketball Club
Senior & Junior Notes
WE CAN NOW more easily understand why Basketball is the most popular game in America. Last Winter an Army touring team from that country visited Eire and at Portobello Barracks gave a demonstration of just how Basketball should be played. So impressive was their display that forthwith the Irish Army rules were abolished and the International rules adopted, which differ from the American but in a few points. Better still, with a view to popularising the game, the Amateur Basketball· Association of Ireland inaugurated the Dublin Secondary Schools and Colleges competitions. Basket Ball has thereby been raised to a new level and now holds a place comparable with Rugby in the sports curriculum.
Basketball is a highly scientific game. It requires lightning speed of mind and body. To a greater extent than in other games, cleverness, powers of anticipation, and the ability to conceal one's intentions from opponents are necessary. Team combination is absolutely essential. Constant practice only can procure scoring proficiency. A good game is a joy to watch. It holds no dull moments and excitement often rises to fever pitch.
The game is not new to Castleknock. It was introduced three years ago as an additional attraction to the College Leagues. The prospect, however, of bringing home a cup has this year aroused new interest and would be Basketeers took to the court and fought hard for their inclusion on the teams.
The competitions were run in the manner of Leagues, the school winning most games to be awarded the cup. A rather weak Synge St. five opposed us in the first round, and in a dull game we ran out easy victors 17 pts.-7 pts. A more formidable Terenure side proved too much for us. Good play was rendered almost impossible by a bitterly cold east wind. Result - Terenure 24 pts, 'Knock I I pts.
Hopes of winning the Senior cup were now slender. The opposition was Belcamp. They had had an easy victory over Terenure and were therefore hot favourites. Our lads, however in traditional 'Knock spirit went hard into training and in the space of a week were a new team. The Belcamp five were due for the shock of their young lives, when on that memorable Wednesday they met us, in the best game of the Season.
Belcamp started in a whirlwind fashion and in three minutes scored 6 pts.- it is significant that the final score was 34-28, a margin of just 6 pts.- then 'Knock settled down and from that moment to the end of the game there ensued as thrilling and spectacular a struggle as one could wish to see. The two teams matched point tor point, basket for basket, the Belcamp quintet just managing to hold their slender lead. Their victory was due solely to their star forward Harte, who placed the sphere in the net with disheartening consistency. The 'Knock team were more balanced and showed a greater knowledge of combination play.
B. Devlin, captain, was outstanding. His ability to change his mind in the last minute and to do the unexpected had Belcamp completely guessing. It was a joy too, to watch him nonchalantly compose himself and from all angles flip the ball into the rim with such pleasing regularity. He was ably assisted in the forward line by D. McCarthy and P. Cullen who both had a good share of the scoring. To P. McCabe fell the unenvious task of marking Harte - a task which he jealously reserved to himself. But for him the score might well have been doubled. W. O'Neill was another tower of strength in defence.
Great credit is due to the Junior squad who, this first year of the competition brought home the cup. Their only match was the final against Belcamp, as the other teams in their section of the League withdrew. This rather handicapped the Juniors as it left them without match experience. They owe their success to assiduous practice. Team combination was the deciding factor in their hard fought game with Belcamp. Our lads showed their real superiority in the last quarter when D. Connolly, F. Morris and B. Lowe sent ball after ball into the net to win the match 31 pts.-I7 pts. B. Guerin at centre had a great game and 'Knock had seldom to worry about getting the jump. D. O'Neill was capable and reliable in defence and like his partner, F. Morris. had several spectacular flashes of offensive play. An excellent team capably piloted by D. Connolly, captain.
Congratulations to both Senior and Junior teams who have given a start which augurs very well for the future.
We wish to thank Major Dunne and Lieut. Keegan of the Irish Army who kindly undertook the difficult task of coaching both our teams according to the new rules.