A special birthday inspires a special performance from Brunell veteran Danielle O'Leary

A special birthday inspires a special performance from Brunell veteran Danielle O'Leary
SSV Brunell's Danielle O'Leary had a great game on Saturday night, before heading off to celebrate her 30th birthday. Picture: David Keane.

Fr Mathew’s 71 Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell 72 

SINGLETON'S SuperValu Brunell that all but ended Cork rivals Fr Mathew’s hopes of making the playoffs with a stunning win in the Women’s Super League at the Fr Mathew’s Arena on Saturday.

Danielle O'Leary, the veteran Brunell point-guard, was celebrating her 30th birthday after and nailed some monster three-points to top-score for the underdogs.

For coach Tim O’Halloran, whose side has been decimated with defections and injuries in this campaign, this was a sweet win against all the odds.

“We went into the game with a plan and it worked to perfection and I think the scoreline didn’t justify our domination of this game but in truth, it was a performance waiting to happen as we had played so well against DCU Mercy last week,” said Tim O’Halloran.

The home side got the perfect start just 10 seconds into the game when Grainne Dwyer was at the end of a fast break.

Fr Mathew's Grainne Dwyer and Singleton SuperValu Brunell's Alex Machetta tussle for the ball. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Fr Mathew's Grainne Dwyer and Singleton SuperValu Brunell's Alex Machetta tussle for the ball. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Although Treyanna Clay replied with a couple of baskets Brunell looked comfortable when Greta Tamanskaite nailed a three-pointer that gave them a 7-6 lead.

Gradually the class of Mathew’s began to tell as Amy Murphy started hurting her former club outside the arc as the deservedly commanded a 15-14 lead entering the second quarter.

Although Danielle O’Leary drained a three-pointer on the restart and Brunell led 19-17 in the 13th minute this game was beginning to look like a scrimmage. Brunell began taking control with O’Leary dominating the point Mathew’s looked a very poor unit.

Little or no defence was being played and with some players attempting ridiculous shots this game looked an eyesore as Brunell had suddenly surged into a 13- point lead. Indeed if Brunell had shot better in the closing minutes they could have put this game to bed but with their team lacking depth some players didn’t get the required rest when fatigue set in.

Mathew’s took advantage and with Brady producing a couple of late baskets it helped reduce the deficit to six points at the interval (37-31).

Singleton SuperValu Brunell's Aryn McClure looking to pass through traffic. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Singleton SuperValu Brunell's Aryn McClure looking to pass through traffic. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

On the restart, Chantelle Alford executed an unchallenged lay-up but in truth, Mathew’s looked totally disorganised at both ends of the court as Brunell were allowed dictate for the majority of this quarter.

What a day it proved for Danielle O’Leary, who was celebrating her 30th birthday party at the Joshua Tree after the game. She shot some incredible three-pointers that had the ‘Nellies’ in raptures at the southside venue.

O’Leary shot a magnificent three with two minutes remaining that gave her side a 14-point lead but Mathew’s dug deep that reduced the deficit to 58-47 entering the last quarter.

Brunell lost Treyanna Clay midway through the last quarter and although the out-of-sorts Grainne Dwyer levelled it in the last-minute Laura Morrissey produced the winning basket and bonus that sealed a famous win.

Scorers for Fr Mathew’s: S Brady 20, G Dwyer 13, C Alford 13.

Singleton’s Supervalu Brunell: D O’Leary 17, A McClure 14, T Clay 12.

Fr MATHEW'S: S O’Shea, A Murphy, E O’Raw, A O’Regan, G Dwyer, C Alford, M McCarthy, A Corkery, A Lynch, S Brady, E Twomey.

BRUNELL: L Morrissey, A McClure, A Moynihan, D O’Leary, G Tamasanskaite, T Lynch, A Machetta, A Braham, T Clay.

Referees: Peter James Coughlan (Cork), Jason Barry (Limerick).

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