The postponed U16 finals from January got underway in the NUIG Kingfisher Club, Galway earlier today. 12 teams lined up for the U16 boys B Final with defending champions St Brigid’s College among those hoping to take the title home. The new 2022 format was in use with three pools of four teams. Joining St Brigid’s was new school this year Coachford College, Mountrath CS and yet another new school in Celbridge CS. Pool B consisted of final regulars Portlaoise College and Patrician Presentation. Facing off against them in the pool stages was Waterpark College who were also making their debut in the u16 championship. Finally in Pool C Dublin schools Nord Anglia IS and Grange CC would compete against Limerick’s Mungret CC and Galway’s Colaiste Muire Mathair. After a tense morning of play, table toppers St Brigid’s College Portloaise College and Nord Anglia plus the best of the 2nd places Coachford College all earned a well-deserved rest and bye straight in the semi finals. As the knockout stages rolled on Mountrath lost to Waterpark in a tight 25-23 game. Heading home would also be Celbridge CS and Mungret at the expense of Colaiste Muire Mathair and Patrician presentation respectively. The quarter finals were now set. St Brigid’s continued to play some powerful volleyball to send Patrician out of the competition with a 25-8 score line. Grange CC advanced over Waterpark with some fine teamwork 25-21. In quarter final 3 Colaiste Muire Mathair dug deep to produce a fantastic comeback and take the win over Portlaoise 25-22. Nord Anglia IS then made up our fourth semi finalist with a commanding win over Cork school Coachford college 25-9. The semi Finals pitted Galway schools against two Dublin schools. On this day it was the west that came out on top as St Brigid’s and Colaiste Muire Mathair progressed to this year’s national final match. Although both based in Galway this was the first final the two schools would meet each other in. Both teams put on an incredible display of volleyball but St Brigid’s seized control and the first set 25-16. The second set produced some great rallies but in the end St Brigid’s retained their title 2-0 25-16, 25-15. MVP – Luke Skelly
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