Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell 74 DCU Mercy 82
HEARTBREAK for Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell as they lost to Women’s Super League leaders DCU Mercy in a terrific game at the Parochial Hall.
Brunell played some outstanding basketball at times and coach Timmy O’Halloran was relatively happy from what he witnessed from start to finish.
“The injury hoodoo hit us again when Sinead O’Reilly hurt her back just two minutes into the game but I couldn’t fault the effort of my players."
They made the champions-elect work for every basket. The Brunell chief whose side have only won four games in this campaign certainly showed with this display their league position is slightly a false one.
“Luck hasn’t been with us but for some strange reason we match up well to DCU and now it’s a case of trying to build on this win and finish the season with a couple of wins,” added O’Halloran.
The DCU Mercy coach Mark Ingle was naturally relieved but found time to praise his opponents.
“I am probably the only coach in the country that has ever given Brunell teams praise and respect and it mystifies me why they have won so little games this season,” said Ingle.
The opening quarter was all both sides going for the jugular as baskets were exchanged quickly at both ends of the court.
Merdeith Burkhall was posing Brunell problems at the post but a brace of Danielle O’Leary three-pointers edged Brunell into a 10-5 lead in the sixth minute.
Gradually the visitors began taking control and with Sarah Woods finishing with a neat jumper the visitors deservedly led 29-25 at the end of the quarter.
On the restart Brunell got their defence in order as they knocked DCU Mercy out of their stride that suddenly restricted their scoring.
Credit to Brunell they exposed DCU with some controlled basketball and with Lithuanian Greta Tamanaskaite giving an exhibition of shooting outside the arc they surged into a six-point lead with three minutes remaining to the interval.
The Dublin side responded with five unanswered points but Brunell went in at the break with a well- earned one-point lead 45-44.
To be fair the intensity increased in the third quarter and DCU got the better start with Megan Connolly and Burkhall nailing baskets for fun.
Brunell refused to wilt and with Treyanna Clay and Tamanaskaite resuming with key baskets the sides were level at 56 points each in the 25th minute.
The closing minutes were tense but Burkhall came up with some big baskets that edged DCU into a slender 64-62 lead entering the final quarter.
When the going got tough the tough got going as DCU produced some key moves and executed crucial baskets as Brunell’s brave effort just fell short.
Top scorers for Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell: G Tamasanskaite 26, D O’Leary 13, A McClure 11.
DCU Mercy: M Burkhall 33, A Russell 24, M Connolly 8.
Referees: J Dooley (Portlaoise), L Aherne (Limerick).