Fr Mathew's 83 Griffith College Swords Thunder 68
FR MATHEW'S, inspired by star player Niamh Dwyer, qualified for the Hula Hoops Senior Women’s National Cup Final, defeating Griffith College Swords Thunder 68-83, showcasing sharpshooting, pinpoint passing and great defence, particularly in the second half when they took over the game.
Both teams started the game well at a very fast pace.
Great teamwork from the teams allowed them to create open looks for themselves, some capitalised on, some not. Thunder were the team on top at the end of the first quarter after Peggy Black hit a fine three to extend their lead to 18-13.
The second quarter was a tight affair. Fr Mathew’s experienced Niamh Dwyer was excellent in executing baseline cuts and coming off screens.
The standout player in the second was definitely Swords’ Elisabet Lopez Sagrera. She used every inch of her 6’1 frame to out-reach and out-muscle the opposition. Her multiple steals and scores kept Swords fighting at the half after a good quarter by Fr Mathews. Halftime score: 33-33.
Fr Mathew's began to gain the upper hand as the third quarter played on. Hollie Herlihy shot very well, inside and out of the three-point line.
Herlihy, Olivia Dupuy and Niamh Dwyer were the shining stars for Fr Mathew's as they began to pull away towards the end of the quarter, 49-61.
The fourth quarter was all Fr Mathew's. Fluid ball movement, unpredictable cuts and pinpoint shooting helped them coast through.
Swords did not give up, however, with Anna Brennan adding some scores. Towards the end of the game, the tough defence and silky offence of Fr Mathew's ensured they would be competing in the Hula Hoops Senior Women’s National Cup Final in January as they ran out winners by 15 points to qualify for their first senior final.
Fr Mathew's head coach James Fleming praised his team’s performance before the end of the first half: “We got the run just before half time to go level and I think that changed the momentum, the girls all did their job.”
FR MATHEWS: Hollie Herlihy, Amy Fitzgerald, Niamh Dwyer, Amanda O’Regan, Rachel Furlong, Emma Gallagher, Olivia Dupuy, Kellie Cahalane, Rachel Finn, Niamh Foley, Anna Lynch, Susie Large, Lainey Nolan, Aine Fitzgerald, Ashley Cunningham.
Top Scorers: Hollie Herlihy 18, Niamh Dwyer 17, Ashley Cunningham 17.