THE Women’s Super League in this decade has been a revelation with Ambassador UCC Glanmire having a tremendous period with many star players representing the club.
Glanmire have the biggest representation in the squad and their biggest achievement was completing a National Cup treble from 2013 to 2016.
Aine McKenna played school basketball with Presentation College in Listowel before moving to Cork after her Leaving Cert to study at UCC and join Ambassador UCC Glanmire.
Ten years later McKenna is the present captain of Glanmire and is showing incredible shooting form with her leadership skills widely appreciated by her teammates.
The name of Grainne Dwyer came to fame with her dazzling performances in the Glanmire colours before going across the city in 2018 to join Fr Mathew’s.
Dwyer played a major part in the many league and cup titles won at Glanmire and is still part of Irish Senior Women’s team.
The same could be said of Claire Rockall who was a magnificent signing in 2010 although leaving the Cork club in 2018 to rejoin her first club Maree in Galway.
Rockall who will marry Ballincollig star Ciaran O’Sullivan in the summer is still one the best athletes in the Women’s Super League.
Niamh Dwyer was another household name during the glory years of Glanmire before exiting from the club in after recovering from a cruciate operation.
Dwyer who played first division college basketball in America for four years was probably the most wholehearted players ever to play the game in this country as her never-say-die attitude was widely acclaimed by many pundits.
Megan O’Leary is a name that may surprise people as she gets the nod over her sister Danielle in the manner she defended and ran the floor.
O’Leary’s career was cut short in 2016 when she quit the sport with a foot injury and last year emigrated to Australia.
Another former Brunell player who is in Australia makes the squad as Amy Waters performances earned her the right to stand with the elite.
Waters wasn’t a prolific scorer but her defence and rebounding was enjoyed by the Brunell faithful for many years.
Orla O’Reilly is another player that will not be remembered for playing many years in Ireland but her achievements since departing shows the class she possesses.
O’Reilly left Glanmire to play as a professional in Spain and is now playing pro ball with Sunbury in Australia. The 29-year-old is a 6ft shooting guard and is possibly one of the best players produced by this country in modern times.
Mallow-born Marie Breen has been an incredible servant to Glanmire and after various injuries is still part of their Super League squad.
Nowadays Marie is a part player but in her younger days she was a class act and the present coach Mark Scannell rates her as one of his best-ever signings. Various injuries have hampered Marie in recent years but her dedication is testament to the lady whose career should be commended.
Australia seems to be a popular country for Cork players to play and work as Jessica Scannell is also strutting her skills in a competitive league.
She showed superb skills at the point for Glanmire and it was no surprise she picked up a professional contract Down Under.
When you look at a long list of quality players it’s always difficult to make the final selection but it’s all down to opinion.
Players like Casey Grace, Clodagh Scannell, Danielle O’Leary, Valerie O’Driscoll and Fiona Lynch will feel they had the resumes to make the cut. The coach of the decade is undoubtedly Mark Scannell whose knowledge has helped put Glanmire top of the tree in the honours list.
Women’s basketball can sometimes be more enjoyable at times and easy on the eyes than their male counterparts and let’s hope the next 10 years will bring the same enjoyment and excitement.
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Áine McKenna (Ambassador UCC Glanmire); Grainne Dwyer (Ambassador UCC Glanmire/Fr Mathew’s); Claire Rockall (Ambassador UCC Glanmire/Maree); Edel Thornton (Singleton’s Supervalu Brunell/Meteors); Megan O’Leary (Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell); Orla O’Reilly (Ambassador UCC Glanmire); Jessica Scannell (Ambassador UCC Glanmire); Niamh Dwyer (Ambassador UCC Glanmire/Fr Mathew’s); Amy Waters (Singleton’s Supervalu Brunell); Marie Breen (Ambassador UCC Glanmire)
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