Basketball: Claire Melia’s return inspires Address UCC Glanmire at Killester

Mark Scannell's side reversed the result from last weekend's Super League clash in the National Cup
Basketball: Claire Melia’s return inspires Address UCC Glanmire at Killester

Claiire O'Sullivan, UCC Glanmire, taking on Rebecca Nagle and Ella McCloskey, Killester. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Killester 61 The Address UCC Glanmire 102

SUPERB basketball from The Address UCC Glanmire saw off champions Killester in the Paudie O’Connor Women’s National Cup in Clontarf.

The return of Claire Melia made Glanmire a far better side than when they were defeated by this same Killester team a week ago in a league clash in Cork. There is not a better coach in Ireland than Glanmire’s Mark Scannell in preparing teams for crucial games.

“We trained hard this week and having Claire Melia back was a huge plus, but, honestly, this was my entire squad, who put a serious shift in from start to finish,” said Scannell.

Claire Melia on Ireland duty. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Claire Melia on Ireland duty. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

The Glanmire chief praised his players for their attitude in the build-up to the game.

Scannell said: “Claire O’Sullivan knew I had a dilemma with choosing a starting five and approached me on the eve of the game and said she was prepared to come off the bench. When she did come in... what a contribution she gave to the team at both ends of the court.”

Glanmire laid their plan out in the opening quarter and were set up for dogged defending.

The shooting of Aine McKenna broke the hearts of Killester and Glanmire took a 24-13 lead into the second quarter.

In a high-scoring second quarter, Glanmire consistently came up with key baskets and they had an 18-point lead at the break.

On the resumption, Glanmire increased the tempo and with Claire Melia and Carrie Shepherd draining baskets at will, they were soon dominant.

When Canadian Taylor Claggett departed Glanmire, her replacement, Shepherd, had found the going tough after two defeats, but in this period she was awesome, shooting consecutive daggers outside the arc.

Leading 71-47 coming down the stretch, Glanmire poured the pressure on their opponents, with McKenna playing a captain’s role and Claire O’Sullivan also outstanding.

Glanmire will take some stopping on all fronts this season when they have a full squad at their disposal.

Top scorers for The Address UCC Glanmire: C Shepherd 24, C Melia 24, A McKenna 19.

Killester: M Taylor 17, E McCloskey 14, S Powell 10.

Referees: A Statkus (Dublin), R Neill (Dublin).

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