SINGLETON'S SuperValu Brunell produced a major shock in the Women’s Paudie O’Connor National Cup when eliminating powerhouse DCU Mercy 75-68 in a thrilling game at the Neptune Stadium this weekend.
Cork were a hub of hardwood action from Friday to Sunday as Basketball Ireland hosted the cup semi-finals at Neptune and Parochial Hall, with four Leeside teams progressing to the big stage in Tallaght in two weeks.
The went into the game with 2-11 Super League record and with DCU Mercy only losing one game for the entire campaign they looked nailed on to win at a canter.
Brunell had other ideas as they produced some magical basketball and inspired by Player of the Match Treyanna Clay they turned the form book upside down.
Clay finished with a superb game-high 31 points but this was all about the team performance given the intensity that underdogs Brunell played with from start to finish.
Ambassador UCC Glanmire were also expected to make the final with relative ease but they came a cropper against Killester when going down 82-79 despite American Shrita Parker contributing 38 points.
At men's senior level, Coughlan C & S Neptune also but the dust in their semi-final against Templeogue going down 78-75 after dominating the game for long periods. They couldn't put the Dublin outfit away, missing 16 free-throws, and paid a heavy price.
Tradehouse Central Ballincollig stayed on track to win their third consecutive Men’s President’s National Cup title when they overcame a talented LYIT Donegal side 88-80.
Once again the outstanding Ballincollig American Andre Nation led their scoring with a game-high 34 points. Ronan and Ciarán O'Sullivan and Inigio Zabola all chipped in with fine tallies as well.
IT Carlow stand between Ballincollig and a hat-trick of cup wins when they produced a solid fourth quarter to defeat a disappointing Fr Mathew’s 89-76.
Rebel Wheelers, helped by a stunning 26-point tally from Dylan McCarthy, booked their place into the IWA National Cup final against Killester when easily accounting for Clonaslee 52-33. They'll be fancied to retain their crown in two weeks.
Neptune will play Belfast Star in the Men’s U18 National Cup final as they overcame UCD Marian 90-75 with Eli Lenihan contributing 27 points for the Blackpool outfit, while Sean McCarthy and Kelvin O'Donoghue weren't far behind him.
Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell lost to Portlaoise Panthers 58-50 in the Women’s U18 semi-final, which was a blow given the talent at their disposal.
Leeside ace Edel Thornton was the star for Trinity Meteors with a stunning tally of 26 points in a 77-63 win over Ulster University at Parochial Hall to book their spot in the Hula Hoops Women’s Division 1 National Cup final.
The former Brunell player excelled in the second half in particular at a venue she's very familiar with. Back in Ireland this season after studying in America, she gave a masterclass under the boards as Meteors came from behind to take a big win.