Team Ambassador UCC Glanmire 69 DCU Mercy 65
TEAM Ambassador UCC Glanmire beat Women’s Super League champions DCU Mercy in a thrilling League encounter at the Mardyke Arena yesterday evening.
This was a great advertisement for women’s basketball with two of the best teams in the country playing the game at its best on both sides of the floor.
Glanmire made a dream start to the game with American Shrita Parker doing superb job driving down the lane, and when Casey Grace made a strong move to the basket followed by a foul shot they held a 11-5 lead after three minutes of play.
Sarah Woods and American player Ashley Russell combined for consecutive short jumpers for Mercy to tie the game 13-13 midway through the period. However Glanmire, who were doing a excellent job, curtailed the threat of the visitors’ big American player Meredith Burkhall, and that forced them into making many rushed outside shots.
Glanmire’s Louse Scannell then nailed consecutive shots from beyond the arc, and was assisted by Amy Dooley who was very active on the glass to lead 24-18 at the end of the first period.
The second period started with both teams playing some very intense defence, which saw no scores in the opening two minutes of the period.
Parker then nailed a monstrous three pointer from downtown followed by a baseline jumper from Grace for Glanmire to lead 29-20 in the 14th minute.
The visitors’ Mercy Russell then began to find her range, and Hannah Thornton began to attack the glass to reduce the deficit 31-29.
The home team increased their lead again 36-30 with baskets from Aine McKenna and Tatum Neubert, however Mercy’s Woods nailed a long range three pointer followed by a offensive rebound and put back by Russell to trail 39-36 at the half.
Mercy made a bright start from the restart with baskets from Burkhall and a three pointer by Maeve Phelan to lead 40-39.
Glanmire responded with another big three pointer by Parker, and a floater by Annaliese Murphy to regain the lead 44-41 midway through the period.
Burkhall now started to find her range for Mercy hurting the home team inside the paint to lead 53-52 entering the final period.
Both sides started the final period very tentative with scoring at a premium as the defence intensity was very high, however, a monstrous three pointer by Russell saw Mercy lead 60-55 midway through the quarter.
Then, Glanmire tied the game 62-62 with 1.56 still remaining on the shot clock, with a slash to the basket from Parker.
With the game on the line Parker showed all her class for Glanmire as she nailed four consecutive foul shots to seal victory 69-65.
Top scorers for Team Ambassador UCC Glanmire: Shrita Parker 27, Casey Grace 17, Tatum Neubert 8.
DCU Mercy: Meredith Burkhall 20, Ashley Russell 16, Hannah Thornton 14
TEAM AMBASSADOR UCC GLANMIRE: A McKenna, L Wilkinson, C Grace, M Furlong, A Murphy, L Scannell, T Neubert, A Dooley, S Parker, C Brosnan.
DCU MERCY: M Connolly, S Woods, A Donohoe, R Huidjdens, M Phelan, A Russell, M Burkhall, M O’Sheaghda, S O’Connor, H Thornton, A McDonnell, N Clancy.
Referees: Maurice Thornhill ( Cork), Emir O’Neill ( Kerry)