Singleton's SuperValu Brunell 77 The Address UCC Glanmire 86
A second-half scoring drought from Singleton's SuperValu Brunell allowed The Address UCC Glanmire to gain maximum points in a thrilling Women’s Super League clash at the Parochial Hall.
The Gurranabraher venue known all over Ireland in basketball circles was hosting its first game in 19 months and the restricted attendance was treated to a classic.
The look on the face of the Brunell coach Timmy O’Halloran was showed his mixed emotions as he reflected on his team's brave performance.
“It is disappointing in one sense as we had our chances to win but look I couldn’t ask my team for any more effort in what they gave out there. This is a good young squad and I do believe we will take more positives than negatives despite the loss and now it’s back to the training court and hopefully, we will improve as the season matures.”
In the opening half, Glanmire were the quicker out of the blocks and with Claire O’Sullivan and Claire Melia dominating in offence the visitors raced into a 16-8 lead in the fifth minute.
Credit to Brunell they refused to lose focus and with Edel Thornton keeping shape on her team they battled back to regain the lead by the minimum with a minute remaining.
A late basket from the Brunell American Kwanza Murray ensured the teams were tied at 22 points each at the end of the opening quarter.
On the restart, Brunell increased their intensity in defence and with Simone O’Shea and Thornton draining consecutive three-pointers they raced into a 35-26 lead midway through this period.
The Brunell victory scholar Shannon Ryan began making her 6' 4" presence made at the post and they looked the better side for long periods in the second quarter.
Murray finished the quarter with a stunning three-pointer as Brunell deservedly went in at the break commanding a six-point lead 49-43.
The game was still finely balanced in the third quarter as the teams were level again in the 25th minute.
Ryan got many clear looks at the post and failed to execute as Glanmire looked disorganised in offence with the exception of Claire Melia, who came up with some crucial baskets when her team needed inspiration.
Melia finished with a superb 29 points and goes through games in a cool and professional manner.
Leading 69-66 entering the final quarter Glanmire required a good final period and their defence proved crucial as they restricted Brunell to a mere seven points.
Defence has always been a key factor for the Glanmire coach Mark Scannell and when defeat stared them in the face they found an extra gear to win in style.
The final score will flatter Glanmire but both teams should be commended on their effort in this enthralling derby.