Scotland retains Celtic Cup for a second year – Enniskillen, 2012.
A wonderful tournament of wheelchair basketball was held at the Lakeland Forum Leisure Centre in Enniskillen this weekend, Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th July 2012.
Hosts Northern Ireland took on Wales and Scotland in a bid to win this year’s The Lord’s Taverners Celtic Cup, which was sponsored by the Hilton in the Community Foundation.
However it was current holders Scotland who proved triumphant for the second year running, winning both their matches to take home the trophy.
The tournament started Saturday morning with home side Northern Ireland taking on Wales. Wales took an early commanding lead 10 -2 with the help of 8 points from Tom Seabourne and Rhys Thomas’ 6 points.
Northern Ireland’s captain, James MacSorley, kept the score ticking over for the trailing side to keep the team in the game, scoring a three pointer on the buzzer to bring them to within four points 12 -16. A scrappy second quarter saw only 9 -5 points scored until Seabourne hit an unorthodox three point shot just before the break to increase Wales’ lead to 10 points, 27 – 17.
Wales dominated the third quarter winning it 21 -14, but Northern Ireland never gave up the fight ; however, despite winning the final quarter 16 – 12 the gap was too large to drawback and Wales sealed the game with some clinical finishing, 60 – 47.
Notably Northern Ireland’s James MacSorley and Wales’ Phil Cochrane, both achieved the first triple doubles of the Celtic Cup.
The second game was a tight affair between current holders Scotland and Wales. The Scots came out with a vengeance storming to a 6 – 0 lead; however Wales bought it back and finished the first quarter within just one point.
It remained close in the opening five minutes of the second quarter as the teams exchanged baskets, however some great defensive pressure caused problems for the Welsh and some excellent finishing from Scotland’s George Bates pushed them out to an eight point lead. Tiredness set in for the Welsh in the second half as the depth on the Scottish bench proved too much for them and they ran away with the final score 46 – 28.
To ensure Scotland were triumphant they had to win the final game against Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland started the game well with two quick baskets however Scotland pushed ahead with Steven Ross and George Bates leading the team well. Scotland got into team foul trouble sending Northern Ireland to the line however they couldn’t capitalise from the free throw line allowing Scotland to lead at quarter 17 -5.
A very close second quarter as the Northern Irish young side fought back kept it the quarter score within one point 13 -14.
A dominant third quarter from Scotland sealed the match for them and despite James MacSoreleys magnificent consecutive 3 point shots. Scotland went into the final quarter with a 27 point margin and finished the tournament with an outstanding win 80 – 43.