Fr Mathew’s 86 Ambassador UCC Glanmire 68
FR MATHEW’S produced a season-best to overwhelm Ambassador UCC Glanmire in the Women’s Super League at the Fr Mathew’s Arena on Saturday.
Credit to Mathew’s, they shot the ball extremely well but Glanmire looked short of serious firepower, particularly among their Irish players.
Granted, they have lost some key players over the last few years but their current crop of aspiring stars aren’t hitting the heights many hoped they would. Annaliese Murphy and Louise Scannell aren’t reaching double figures on a consistent basis and Casey Grace should be achieving more for a player with immense talent.
American Shrita Parker looked a ‘Rockstar’ in the early part of the season but with so many Irish players in the team not scoring she is now choosing silly shooting options.
At the end of the game, coach Scannell couldn’t hide his disappointment with his team’s performance.
“We allowed ourselves to be bullied and pushed around on the court and we have to learn how to play when things are not going our way,” said Mark Scannell.
Coach Scannell felt his side had went into the game with a plan but it went out the window earlier than anticipated.
“There is a lot of things I could say right now but I would prefer to keep my thoughts and relay them to my team next week on the training court.
“The bottom line is, we failed to show up and to see the number of free throws we missed was frightening but look players don’t go on court to underachieve and it’s my job to get it right again.”
The mood in the Mathew’s camp was naturally one of delight as Irish international Grainne Dwyer explained: “That was the best we have shot the ball this season and now we have to build on this display and make sure we remain unbeaten in our remaining league games.”
The opening quarter of this game saw both teams shoot the ball exceptionally well.
There is no secret of my admiration on how Shannon Brady plays the post as she punished Glanmire at will with some lovely touches and despite missing a few easy tips her side surged into a 15-6 lead midway through the quarter.
Surprisingly Simone O’Shea didn’t start but her introduction saw her nail a long-range three-pointer but with Chantelle Alford having a superb game outside the arc Mathew’s commanded a 24-15 lead entering the second quarter.
The trend of the game didn’t change on the restart as both teams continued to shoot the ball with precision but it was clear Glanmire were hanging on for dear life despite only trailing 48-40 at the break.
Shrita Parker took the league by storm in the opening weeks but in recent weeks her performances have dipped.
There is little doubt Parker is quality, particularly when her team are leading but in some games this season she has shown no leadership when her team needed inspiration.
It was evident as the game matured Glanmire had forgot how to put the ball in the basket and the only player that stood out to me was Amy Dooley.
The Portlaoise native is in her first year at UCC and there is she is progressing as a player. In this game was realistically the only player along with Aine McKenna who had the bottle for the battle.
Trailing by 14 points going into the final quarter, Mathew’s continued to dictate proceedings as Glanmire never looked likely to reduce the deficit coming down the stretch.
Scorers for Fr Mathew’s: C Alford 22, G Dwyer 21, S Brady 20.
Ambassador UCC Glanmire: A McKenna 13, S Parker 10, A Dooley 10.
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.
Ambassador UCC Glanmire: A McKenna, L A Wilkinson, C Grace, M Furlong, A Murphy, N Braham, A Braham, T Neubert, A Dooley, S Parker.
Referees: M Thornhill (Cork), G Daly (Cork).