THREE Leesiders helped the Irish U20 team gain promotion to the top tier of European Basketball and collect bronze medals in the European Championships.
Glanmire duo Annaliese Murphy and Louise Scannell along with Brunell's Amy Murphy were in the squad as the Irish defeated Great Britain in a thrilling third-placed play-off.
The majority of this group are no strangers to making history, with the victory coming almost two years to the day of their historic silver medal win at U18 level in Dublin in 2017, which saw Ireland promoted to Division A basketball for the first time in the country’s history.
Now, this talented team of players have done it once more, and did so incredible fashion, holding off at the death in the face of a late British comeback to hold on and win by three points.
Captain fantastic, Claire Melia led by example once more, finishing out the game with yet another double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds, along with seven assists. There were stand outs across the court though, with Dayna Finn also bagging a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds, along with five assists and three steals, while Enya Maguire, Annaliese Murphy, Maeve Phelan and Rachel Huijsdens were among many stand-outs in a talented cast.
It wasn’t an easy battle with GB though, with both sides knowing each other inside out having met earlier in the tournament at the group stages and indeed, on and off throughout numerous games over the years.
Head coach Martin Conroy stated: “That was just amazing. I spoke beforehand about those 12 women and what they’re capable of and how good they are together. The first quarter today was just immense.
"We don’t have to do much with this team as coaches, as they’re just phenomenal players and there’s such unity there, their will to win is immense. This is twice they have won a European medal and I’m just the lucky one who was given the job to come on board with them and a fantastic staff.
"We’ve had our ups and downs this week, we’ve a had a couple of losses that we're probably unhappy with, but the way we bounced back every time, is just incredible. I am so happy for each and every one of them.”
Alison Blaney, Trinity College Dublin, Maree BC
Amy Dooley, Hobart & William Smith Colleges (USA)
Amy Murphy, Cork College of Commerce, Brunell BC
Annaliese Murphy, University College Cork, Ambassador UCC Glanmire
Claire Melia, TU Dublin Blanchardstown, Portlaoise Panthers
Dayna Finn, NUI Galway, Maree BC Enya Maguire, Ulidia Integrated College, Ulster University Elks
Louise Scannell, Ambassador UCC Glanmire
Maeve Phelan, Dublin City University, Pyrobel Killester
Maggie Byrne, NUI Galway, Maree BC
Rachel Huijsdens, Trinity College Dublin, DCU Mercy
Sorcha Tiernan, Trinity College Dublin, Courtyard Liffey Celtics