Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell 77
Ambassador UCC Glanmire 78
A DRAMATIC end to a fascinating Women’s Super League game saw Ambassador UCC Glanmire pushed to the wire before eventually prevailing after overtime at the Parochial Hall last night.
Hard to believe this game was decided in extra time as Glanmire looked home and hosed at the break when commanding a 21-point lead.
Many Brunell players, supporters and coaching staff were furious after the game with a few decisions that went against them coming down the stretch but in truth that didn’t cost them.
I have learned over the years that you may pick a few calls that go against a team but when you play no defence in the first half you’ll pay the price.
However, credit must go to the underdogs, they fought back superbly but then had three opportunities to ultimately win the game and didn’t take them.
The opening five minutes was fairly even but with Maddie Ganser putting her team under pressure when picking up her second foul they struggled to halt some superb Glanmire outside shooting.
Louise Scannell was a thorn in the Brunell side as she nailed a couple of three-pointers that helped her side command a 21-16 lead entering the second quarter.
Indeed Scannell began with a basket and followed up with her third three-pointer as suddenly Brunell looked in dire straits.
Brunell’s Latvian professional Linda Rubene failed to register a basket in the opening 16 minutes; Glanmire may credit good defending there but her shot selection was off.
To be fair Glanmire were excellent in this period but it was made easy for them as Brunell put in a poor first half shift that saw them trail by 21 points at the break on a scoreline of 52-31.
Looking at the face of the Brunell coach Tim O’Halloran at the break you could see his frustration as his side had shown little of the fight that has been associated with Brunell teams over many years.
However, whatever O’Halloran said and planned at the break worked the oracle as his team looked a far more determined unit when the second half restarted.
Maddie Ganser was given the job of shutting down the Glanmire American Imani Davis and to be fair she played some incredible defence. Glanmire coach Mark Scannell felt his American got no protection from the referees in the second half but for the purist this was defence at its very best from Ganser.
Amy Waters was outstanding from start to finish and began finding her range as Brunell slowly began chipping away at the Glanmire lead. Waters looked out of sorts in the opening games of the campaign but in the last two she has found a new lease of life and finished this game with 20 points.
Annaliese Murphy was another Glanmire player to get close attention as Simone O’Shea played some excellent defence.
Amazingly midway through the third quarter Glanmire still led by 16 points but in that period they had only amassed two points which came from the free-throw line.
Brunell were now opening the lanes as American Trish Byrne began making deft moves to the hoop and entering the final quarter they had reduced the deficit to 11 points 59-48.
Coming down the stretch Brunell were dealt a blow when Byrne was fouled out.
Backed by their loyal supporters Brunell almost snatched victory in normal time but two Loughery free throws ensured the teams finished level at 67 points each.
Brunell looked to be in pole position with 1.01 remaining in overtime when commanding a three-point lead but there was to be another twist with a Loughery basket bringing the minimum between the teams.
In the end, it took a superb Aine McKenna basket to decide this game as Glanmire held out to win by the minimum.
Scorers for Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell: A Waters 20, L Rubene 13, M Ganser 12, T Byrne 12.
Ambassador UCC Glanmire: I Davis 25, M Loughery 19, L Scannell 11.
BRUNELL: L Rubene, T Byrne, A Moynihan, A Waters, D O’Leary, K Diggin, A Dineen, S O’Shea, A Machetta, L Morrissey, M Ganser, A Murphy.
GLANMIRE: A McKenna, C Grace, A Braham, Avril Braham, N Graham, M Furlong, M Loughrey, A Murphy, I Davis, D Junkemire, R Quirke, M Dillon, M Breen.
Referees: Eddie Cooke (Cork), Ger Daly (Cork).