The Mens’ Basketball team were were now promoted to Division 2. The Ladies team as a result of being at the top of the league in Division 2 in 1988 was promoted to Division 1.
Change of Venue for the Mens’ Team
The mens’ team moved back to Remore Gym sharing the gym with Galway Democrats with games on alternate Saturdays. It was the original intention of the club that both the mens and ladies teams be based in Oughterard with all the commercial, social and sporting benefits that this could bring to an area such as ours. The foundation for this was laid by an intensive seven year programme of school’s basketball which culminated in the winning of three Div. A School’s All Irelands in Boy’s Basketball.
The hope of the club was that the players who benefited from these programmes could continue to play senior basketball but unfortunately so few players were able to make this transition. The club had always been aware that there would have been a natural and expected loss of players to basketball (and indeed to every other sport) in the transition from school’s to senior level and that this loss could only be accommodated for by drawing from a wider base. To change home venue for the men’s team was the only possibility for the size of Corrib to compete at National level as it emerged in 1988 that the most of the senior Men’s team were based in Galway and therefore it was a practical decision to play the home games at Renmore Sport’s Centre.
The Ladies team competed in the home gym at Oughterard community Centre.
Corrib Men’s Team
Seamus Crehan and his brother Liam in their third season with Corrib, Colin O’Malley and twin brother Kevin O’Malley in their third season, Paul Hogan who joined Corrib mid-way through the previous season, Cathal Gallagher one of Corrib’s most exciting players, with an extrovert style, Gavin Hartigan who previously played with Admirals, Declan O Halloran the youngest player on the team at 16 years of age, Enda Byrt, school master involved in basketball since the 60’s, Gerry Conneely and Paschal Brennan junior international.
Drew Martin was signed on as the American player.
Coach: Gerry Nihill: A very experienced coach, it was his tenth successive season in the National League. He introduced many of the Corrib team to the game at Holy Rosary College, Mountbellew where he was a chemistry teacher. He had coached National League with Galway Democrats and Admirals and was assistant coach with the Irish Junior International team.
Drew Martin was 24 years of age, an Industrial Engineer and Operations Research graduate from Cornell University, Ithea, NY. He captained Div. 1A at the University and was team leader in rebounds, steals and blocks and second in scoring.
With limited experience at National League at this level Corrib found the going particularly difficult in Division 2 despite the addition of highly rated American Drew Martin and junior international Brennan.
Corrib tied with Waterford without the support of their American player Drew Martin but were defeated in the next game by Marian of Dublin.
Corrib v Galway Democrats
Galway Democrats hosted Oughterard neighbours. Many dismissed Corrib’s chances against a strong Democrats squad but they were shown to be most presumptuous when Oughterard raced into an early and deserved lead.
Though Democrats kept their nerve and weathered the Corrib storm the Oughterard lads were always in contention as the 52 – 45 half-time score illustrated.
If the game was of interest in the first half after the break it certainly caught fire when followers were afforded some splendid fare. Corrib rallied to good effect and ran Democrats to 67-66. Moreover the Galwegians greater experience and strength enabled them to extricate themselves from this position and they edged into a safe lead which they retained to the end of play.
Skip Barry’s contribution of 57 points was decisive on the night but his opposite number Drew Martin showed himself to be a splendid performer for Corrib and he notched up 43 points.
Gerry Nihill took satisfaction from Corrib’s performance and tried to build on it for future games.
The Men’s team was bottom of the league facing into the second half of the season. Unfortunately they were not successful in division two and withdrew from National League Basketball.
Mary Nihill and her husband Gerry are to be congratulated on their commitment and dedication to the Mens’ Team during difficult times. They gave an enormous amount of time freely and willingly to coaching the National League side. Mary continued to persevere and brought further success to St. Paul’s over the years.
International News 1988
Every player’s ambition is to represent his/her country – for most it can only ever remain a dream but for 19 year old Liam Crehan (Corrib) it became a reality when he played for the Irish Junior Men’s team in Killarney in1988 against a United States team from San Franciso.
Ann Marie Kyne was a member of the Irish Junior ladies team which competed in the European Qualifying Tournament in Germany. Ann Marie was the first ever Galway ladies player selected at this level and it was only a matter of time until she gained her first senior cap.
Ladies Division 1 National League Campaign 1988/1989
Corrib entered the most competitive women’s league ever. Despite the youthful enthusiasm and skill of the predominantly young squad the task which faced them was immense.
National League Team
Aileen Sheehan (Physiotherapist): It was her second season with Corrib – a strong player with a hard determined drive. Aileen was the ladies secretary and made an enormous contribution to the team and club. She helped to coach the team in Division Two.
Ita Walsh (Primary Teacher): One of the most valuable players on the team. She brought a wealth of experience to the team. She was a hard worker on the court and led by example.
Mary Kyne (Science Student N.I.H.E. Dublin): Mary was with Corrib from the start. Winner of Galway Sports Star Award, coached two teams to all Ireland finals in 1987. Capped for Ireland U17. Mary contributes best with her jump shot from top of the key.
Josephine Burke (Receptionist): Josephine hailed from Maree, Oranmore. A very strong defensive player and always was a good offensive threat. Josephine was a consistent ‘first five starter’ in Division Two.
Ann Marie Kyne (Computer Studies N.I.H.E. Limerick): She had ample experience at National and International level. She was a strong all-rounder with an accurate jump shot and excellent technique. Her rebounding and shooting made her the backbone of the team. Winner of Galway Sports Star Award for basketball 1988.
Ursula Kyne (Student St Paul’s Secondary School): Represented Connacht at under 17 level. Her improving all round play and rebounding ability gained her the most improved player award at the club in 1988.
Analene Barry (Physiotherapist): She played for Athlone Div.1. She was a fast aggressive player with lots of experience. It was her first season with Corrib.
Sinéad O’Halloran (Student St Paul’s) Sinéad had been with the team from under age level. Represented Connacht at u15 and u17. Sinéad was a strong dependable player and had great potential.
Shirley Angland (Student St. Paul’s): She showed great promise with her accurate shooting ability and her lightning speed. Represented Connacht at u 17 level.
Jacinta O’Halloran (Hotel Management Student R.T.C. Galway): Jacinta was a member of the Community Games 3 in-a-row wins. She missed a season with Corrib but returned. Her speed on court and all round ability was a great asset to the team.
American Player Barbarann Keffer: Starter for Harvard College for 4 years. Majored in A. B. in Government at Harvard University. Played for 4 years in All Ivy League team. Career average of 13 points a game. With her ball-handling skills and good shooting ability she proved a most valuable addition to Corrib in Div.1
Corrib’s Ambition for the Season:
Corrib’s main aim for the season was to retain their position in Div.1 and build up valuable experience for the next season. The early games in the season turned out to be difficult as Corrib was finding it difficult to come to terms with the much taller and experienced first division sides, many of whom included in their line-up one or more senior International players.
Corrib v Corinthians
Corrib started the League against a strong Dublin side Corinthians. Corrib had a nervous start and let the home side dominate the first half 43-24. Corrib fought back in the second half, scoring some great baskets by Aileen Sheehan and Ann Marie Kyne but with three of the Corrib players in foul trouble they could not pull back the lead given away in the first half and the Dublin side ran out winners 85-67.
Corrib v Wildcats, Waterford
This game was Corrib’s first home game. Although the game remained close for the first 15 minutes Corrib could not find any fluency in their play and their impatience in their offence, resulted in them turning the ball over regularly which Wildcats exploited in fast breaks and ran up a half time lead of 14 points. Corrib continued to fight to the end but Wildcats ran out eventual winners 76-51.
Corrib Ladies First Success – Corrib v Castledermot
Corrib ladies defeated I.C.S. 1988 Cup winner Casstledermot in a magnificent away game. Castledermot scored the first basket of the game but Corrib came back to run up an 11 point lead after 7 minutes. However Castledermot responded and pulled back the lead to within 4 points at half time.
The second half was closely contested throughout. The home team reduced Corrib’s lead to 1 point with ten minutes left in the game but Corrib held their nerve and won by a point 77-76.
Corrib v Naomh Mhuire
A splendid Corrib Ladies team confounded the form bookwehn overcoming exalted opposition in the form of Naomh Mhuire, Dublin.They shocked the Dubliners with an 82-75 victory. Ann Marie Kyne scored a marvellous 39 points, Barbara Ann Keffer and Ita Walsh contributed 14 points. Corrib’s victory was fashioned on their ability to take the play to their opponents and set up a measured and controlled game. Their opponents pursued doggedly man to man tactics which reaped little reward on the night.
Corrib’s magnificent home followers spurned the girls to victory. Oughterard followers were an extra force to contend with for visiting teams. The Saturday night games followed by a disco in the Corrib Hotel were eagerly looked forward to during the winter months. Spectators shouted, roared, clapped and the temporary basket which was held in place with concrete blocks on the stage was often given a little shake (so the opposition said!) when the were taking free throws. A large crowd would gather at the doorway under the other basket and often brought the referees’ attention to foul play against the home side. Their comments were not always appreciated!
Table Toppers West Coast Coolers Corrib
Corrib failed to stop West Coast Coolers, Dublin. Coolers full court press caused problems for Corrib as they gave away too many turnovers which Coolers capitalised on with good fast breaks. Coolers were a much taller team and Corrib lost 92-76.
Corrib were beaten by Lee Strand, Tralee and Athlone.
Good start to New Year
They had a good win over Corinthians. Corinthian’s who had just beaten league leaders West Coast Coolers to gain a place in the I.C.S. Cup semi-finals were favourites to win the game but Corrib did not intend to make their job easy.
Corrib started the game at a very fast pace, fast breaking the ball at every opportunity which Corinthians found hard to contain. Corrib also frustrated the opposition by closing down two inside players.
Frustration crept into Corinthian’s play and Corrib ran up a lead of 17 points with 8 minutes left in the game. Corinthian’s fought back and reduced the deficit to 11 points – a remarkable victory for Corrib.
Corrib Stay in Division 1 – Corrib v Athlone
Having gone down before Christmas to Athlone Corrib was determined to avenge the three point loss they incurred in that game. They quickly established a 10 point lead. Athlone failed to make any inroads into Corrib’s score and Corrib ran out winners 77-59.
That win assured Corrib of a place in Div.1 the following year. The team finished 7th in the League Table.
First Ever I.C.S. Cup Game in Oughterard
Sport’s Minister Frank Fahy attended the home game in Oughterard Gym against Corinthian’s in the first ever I.C.S. game. There were 4 International players on the Dublin side. Corrib’s task was a huge one and when Ann Marie Kyne ran into earlier difficulties with foul trouble that pressure mounted. Yet Corrib were well pleased with a big improvement on their league performance against the visitors. With three minutes to go Corrib were just 7 points down but they eventually succumbed to a 77 62 defeat.
National Awards for Corrib
Off the court it was another good year for Corrib ladies, winning a competition run by the I.B.B.A. for the best promotion of the I.C.S. Cup game and also a competition run by I.B.B.A. in conjunction with sports for all week.
Barbarann signed on with West Coast Coolers, Dublin when she came to Ireland. Her place in the Dublin team did not work out for Barbarann so she took the train west to Oughterard. We welcomed her with open arms. She blended in well with our young squad. Barbarann was a delightful young woman, kind generous, helpful in every way – she gave of her best to Corrib basketball and put in many fine performances during the course of the season.
After leaving Oughterard she played for TSV Nordhigen, West Germany.
She listed the drawbacks of her new found town when writing back to the club “ No snooker, scarce Furstenburg, no dinners cooked by Patricia Murray, no hitchhiking, no lake, no darts in the Corrib Hotel!! Barbarann is married now and we still keep in touch.
Club Sponsorship – Mary and Walter Maguire Corrib Hotel
Mary and Walter Maguire of the Corrib Hotel was the main sponsor. She gave a home to all of our American players for six months of the year. Here generosity knew no bounds as our players enjoyed a home from home experience with Mary and her staff. Without this generous sponsorship National League Basketball would never have come to Oughterard. Mary and Walter’s support was greatly appreciated.
A special word of gratitude is also due to our game sponsors, supporters, businesses that placed advertisements in our basketball booklets and our loyal supporters.
A.I.B./ Beamish and Crawford Awards 1989 – Mary Kyne
Five individual sports awards were awarded by A.I.B. and Beamish and Crawford each year at Dublin City University. Each college club was asked to nominate one candidate. Thirteen clubs sent forward nominations. Mary Kyne of Corrib Basketball club, a student in the college was nominated by the college basketball club.
The nomination stated, “Mary had played for three clubs in 1989 – Corrib in National League Div.1, Tolka Rovers in Dublin City League and finally the college team. She had never missed a training session or match with the university club. Although only with the club a year she had shown commitment and dedication and led her team in several games. She was always willing to help in management of Club affairs. Mary also encouraged and shared her skills with other members of the club. It is the playing of basketball and enjoyment of it that is most important to her.”
No one was more surprised than Mary herself when she was presented with a silver tankard by the President of the University at banquet.
Treaslaimid thú a Mháire.
Ann Marie Kyne gained her first Irish Senior Women’s Cap. The team competed in a tournament in Luxemburg and in the 4 Countries International Tournament.
Gerry Nihill: He was appointed as coach to the Junior Men’s Irish team. He also acted as assistant coach to the Irish Senior Men’s team.
Off to France – Some Memories
Sinéad O’Halloran wrote her memories of this historic milestone in the history of the club in the Basketball Booklet 1988/1989.
“With a limited amount of help from the adults of the Twinning Committee of Oughterard, the Club’s U19 team fulfilled a long awaited trip to France.
The teams in France however, were somewhat more experienced than this young squad, the challenge however, proved very worthwhile, in providing for the coming season in the U19 I.C.S. cup. The team consisted of some new faces and some old. An old face re-admitted the day prior to departure was that of Mary Bresnihan, and as the most senior player of the team she played the role of player/coach. Mary was forced to retire after the second game due to injuries and ‘old age’!
The team fell in for many exciting action- packed excursions, to places like Mont. St. Michell and the world famous fishing port of St. Olalo. For most of the team this was somewhat a new experience. The language barrier was surprisingly not a barrier (our French teacher would be proud of us).
These young basket-ballers attracted great crowds at their games, reffed by experienced National League referees. The fast breaking skills of this young team baffled the French rivals but however, their offences were complicated and they pulled off many 3 point scores.
Despite Corrib’s physical contact, the French team’s physique and ability dominated, forcing the young squad to run into score difference problems. Height was the team’s major problem, having only one re-bounder on our side, poised many problems on the boards.
The girls stayed with French families who for some ‘fortunates’ spoke English but for others French was their spoken language. Despite all the eating and drinking (non alcohol) we had time for other things too. Our programme was packed to capacity. The U 19 team would like to thank Imelda Walsh, who all by herself, booked our tickets and organised everything.”
The team that visited France were Sinéad O Halloran, Rayleen O Malley, Ursula Kyne, Kathleen O’Reilly, Eileen Walsh, Colette Gill, Maria O’Halloran, Imelda Walsh, Shirley Angland and Mary Bresnihan.
Corrib Galway League Team 1988-1989
Marie O Malley, Marie O’Halloran, Shirley Angland, Rayleen O Malley, Aileen O Toole, Sinéad Kyne, Clare Geoghegan, Colette Gill, Sinéad O Halloran, Mary Angela Walsh (Captain) and Pauline Keane.
Coach: Barbarann Keffer.