Malachy's fired up to seal double All-Ireland glory
St Malachy's College are counting down to their two-pronged assault on Irish schools success.
The Belfast school have fought their way through to the Under-16 and Under-19 All-Ireland Schools finals, which take place next weekend and will be streamed live through the Basketball Ireland website. The Under-19s meet Templeogue, while the Under-16s face CBS Tralee.
It could prove to be a particularly special weekend for CJ Fulton as he will be competing for both teams as well as captaining the Under-16 side.
CJ is the son of former Irish international and Malachy's teacher Adrian, who looks after the Under-19s, while Phil Molloy is the boss of the Under-16s.
"CJ has had a great few months. He represented Ireland at the European Championships in the summer when they had their best ever finish, placing 11th, and now he has the chance of being part of two sides going for Irish schools titles," said dad Adrian, who has been delighted with the manner in which both sides have carved out their respective paths to the deciders.
He added: "Most of the Under-19 side are a year young and they have already beaten some of the best schools around. Beating North Mon of Cork in the first round was huge and then they also defeated Summerhill College of Sligo who won an All-Ireland title two years ago.
"Captain Niall McGinnity has had a great year and he along with the two other older lads, John Moran and Michael McWilliams, have been very good for the younger lads."
The Under-16s also had a tough path to the decider and Fulton believes they are in good shape for a shot at glory.
"Both our teams have had only one home fixture each so having won so many games on the road they are really battle hardened at this stage of the competition," said Fulton. "They both have a great chance."