Brunell are caught at the buzzer by WIT Waterford Wildcats

Singleton’s Supervalu Brunell in overtime at the Parochial Hall
Brunell are caught at the buzzer by WIT Waterford Wildcats

Singleton's SuperValu Brunell's Kwanza Murray races past WIT Wildcats' Rachel Thompson, during their Women's Super League clash at the Parochial Hall. Picture: David Keane.

Singletons SuperValu Brunell 67 WIT Waterford Wildcats 70 (overtime) 

DISAPPOINTMENT for Singleton’s Supervalu Brunell as they lost out to WIT Waterford Wildcats after overtime in the Women’s Super League at the Parochial Hall.

No excuses for the former league leaders they had this game in the bag in normal time and handed it back with sloppy play that allowed Wildcats level it on the buzzer.

The shortage of referees in this country presently has seen many rookies taking the stage in this campaign and although both referees made errors throughout the game it must be stressed both sets of players were the biggest culprits.

The fans were kept interested but for the Brunell coach Timmy O’Halloran this was a bad night at the office for his side.

“Look no excuses it was a dreadful display and we basically handed them the game but we are in this together as a team and we will strive to get things right for next weekend against Killester,” said Timmy O’Halloran.

 John Coughlan of The Echo, right, presents the coach of the month award for October to Singleton's SuperValu Brunell's Tim O'Halloran at the Parochial Hall. Picture: David Keane.
John Coughlan of The Echo, right, presents the coach of the month award for October to Singleton's SuperValu Brunell's Tim O'Halloran at the Parochial Hall. Picture: David Keane.

Right from tip-off both teams were intent on playing a full-court press and the basketball tempo was off the charts in the opening three minutes.

The home side had the better of the early exchanges and raced into an eight-point lead before Wildcats responded with a brace of baskets.

At times Brunell played some controlled basketball and when Simone O’Shea got in back door for a basket in the seventh minute the home side extended their lead to 14-4 with the Waterford coach calling a time out.

The closing minutes were scrappy but a late Edel Thornton basket ensured Brunell led 21-10 entering the second quarter.

On the restart unforced errors continued as both teams made silly shooting and passing options and for long periods it looked the equivalent of a scrimmage.

The Brunell coach Timmy O’Halloran made various rotations that at times were strange as they lost control of the boards and looked all at sea in the offence court.

Luckily for the home team Wildcats missed easy shots when getting looks at the hoop and despite Brunell leading at the break it was a poor display of basketball despite commanding a 37-24 lead.

The bottom line for Brunell is they needed to get a grip of the game on the restart as this was possibly the poorest period they have produced this season.

 Singleton's SuperValu Brunell's Edel Thornton looks for support as WIT Wildcats' Abby Flynn closes in. Picture: David Keane.
Singleton's SuperValu Brunell's Edel Thornton looks for support as WIT Wildcats' Abby Flynn closes in. Picture: David Keane.

Instead of getting a reaction, Brunell went into total meltdown in this period but it was coach O’Halloran’s rotations that had many fans mystified.

Brunell were getting killed on the boards and he decided to sit American Shannon Ryan down for the entire period until 1.06 remaining in the third quarter. In my time involved in the sport you have Americans to play and not sit on the bench and in the end, it came back to haunt them.

In defence of O’Halloran, Ryan hasn’t been doing the business but the buck stops with him in getting her in position at the post to bank shots. Ryan could be a valuable asset but you must have played in order as in the second half the team were totally clueless in the offence court.

Brunell only managed to score eight points in this period as they led 45-43 but in the final quarter, the errors continued and with the game at their mercy with five seconds remaining they managed to turn the ball over.

The buzzer looked to have sounded before the foul but the referees thought otherwise and Wildcats managed to nail one free throw that took the game to extra time with the sides level at 60 points each.

Sadly nothing changed for Brunell and despite Edel Thornton putting in a wholehearted shift, this was a night when reality came home to roost as their error-ridden performance was punished at the death.

Scorers for Singletons Supervalu Brunell: K Murray 22, E Thornton 13, S Ryan 13.

WIT Waterford Wildcats: J Walker 24, K Hickey 11, A O’Flynn 10.

BRUNELL: M Finnegan, S Ryan, L Homan, A Braham, K Sexton, E Thornton, S O’Shea, A Macheta, K Murray, K Walsh, L Crean-Hickey, S O’Reilly.

WILDCATS: A Flynn, H Rohan, S Hickey, K Hickey, S Deegan, R Thompson, J Walker, C Kavanagh, S O’Shea, L Connolly.

Referees: S Joyce (Cork), S O’Shaughnessy (Tipperary).

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