Brunell basketballers come up short again as northside club lack strength in depth

Brunell basketballers come up short again as northside club lack strength in depth
SSV Brunell's Treyanna Clay gets her pass away under pressure from Liffey Celtics' Aine O'Connor. Picture: David Keane.

Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell 62 Liffey Celtics 68

ANOTHER league defeat for Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell in the Women’s Super League as they went down tamely to Kildare outfit Liffey Celtics at the Parochial Hall.

This was a game that offered nothing to the Brunell faithful as there was little spirit or fight shown by the players on court a trait that’s been associated with this club for many years.

One could make excuses that this was a cup hangover performance but coach Tim O’Halloran was more forthright in his assessment of the loss.

“We are simply not good enough and we are suffering big time at the point guard position but in reality we are off the pace,” said Tim O’Halloran.

It’s likely that coach O’Halloran will not be putting himself forward for the Brunell job next season as his reply to whether his squad needs strengthening for next season was interesting.

“They will have sign a few players,” added O’Halloran.

SSV Brunell's Aryn McClure looks for support under pressure from Liffey Celtics' Sorcha Tiernan. Picture: David Keane.
SSV Brunell's Aryn McClure looks for support under pressure from Liffey Celtics' Sorcha Tiernan. Picture: David Keane.

In reality, Brunell, despite having two Americans and a Lithuanian professional, struggled despite producing champagne basketball in their cup semi-final against DCU Mercy who now look odds on to be crowned league champions.

To be fair to the Brunell chief, losing players like Amy Murphy, Simone O’Shea and Amy Waters at the start of the season was a huge blow and now his captain Danielle O’Leary is sidelined.

Something has got to give in Cork basketball at this level as the standard now among Irish players is at an all-time low. 

The mood in the Liffey Celtics camp was positive as coach Laura Mullally was pleased to get a win on the road.

“We have had a difficult season but our two new Americans are settling in well and the return of Sorcha Tiernan will hopefully get us some positive results for the remaining games in the campaign,” said Laura Mullally.

In the opening exchanges, the basketball was lethargic but with Liffey Celtics shooting the ball with precision they surged into a 6-2 lead on two minutes.

Greta Tamasanskaite did manage to nail a three pointer on Brunell’s next possession but generally they looked a dysfunctional side at both ends of the court.

The Kildare side looked in control and when Sorcha Tiernan drained a three pointer in the fifth minute Brunell’s coach Tim O’Halloran called a time out and introduced Sinead O’Reilly.

Suddenly, Brunell began competing more on the boards but their defence remained static and it was no surprise they trailed 19-15 at the end of the quarter.

Breanna Greene got Liffey up and running on the restart but despite Brunell continuing to use various rotations they were just about hanging in as Liffey Celtics were struggling to gain control.

The one negative for Brunell in this period was the amount of poor shooting options they were taking with the end result being air balls which is a poor spectacle at this level.

Indeed the small attendance was treated to some poor basketball and it was amazing that Brunell were actually still in the game as they only trailed by six points at the break (37-31).

In the third quarter, the standard of basketball didn’t improve but Brunell had plenty of looks and despite trailing by nine going into the fourth they were still very much in the game.

Brunell struggled in defence with the Liffey American, Jaiamoni Welch-Coleman basically running riot as the Kildare side saw this game out

A minute’s silence was observed before the game for the late Sean Treacy, a top referee in Irish basketball during the golden era of the 70s and 80s.

Scorers for Singletons Supervalu Brunell: G Tamasanskaite 14, T Clay 13, A McClure 13, S O’Reilly 8.

Liffey Celtics: J Welch-Coleman 21, B Green 15, Aine O’Connor 9.

SINGLETON’S SUPERVALU BRUNELL: L Morrissey, A McClure, A Moynihan, D O’Leary, G Tamasanskaite, A Dineen, T Lynch, A Machetta, A Braham, L Homan, T Clay, S O’Reilly.

LIFFEY CELTICS: K O’Flaherty, K Rochford, J Welch Coleman, N Masterson, C Mulleady, B Green, S Tiernan, A O’Connor, Aine O’Connor.

Referees: G Simkus (Portlaoise), A Pauliukenas (Carlow).

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