A second-half revival was good enough for The Address UCC Glanmire to book a semi-final clash with Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell in the Paudie O’Connor Women’s National Cup following a comfortable win over IT Carlow at the Mardyke Arena.
Glanmire’s second American Gigi Smith did not play as she is returning to the States tomorrow before taking up a job offer in France.
Aine McKenna is presently playing the best basketball of her career and it only took her 15 seconds for her to nail the opening three pointer.
Glanmire were certainly on a roll and when their inspirational Irish Senior International Claire Melia drained a second three pointer in the second minute they increased their lead to 10 points.
As the quarter matured it was evident this game was going to be a one way street and with 3.48 remaining the home side had increased their lead to 16-2.
To be fair the Carlow coach Martin Conroy has consistently worked hard to keep the game afloat in his home town but this group of players are finding it hard to compete with the elite teams at this level.
On this occasion they were forced to travel with seven players and surely in a game of this magnitude that’s simply not good enough.
To be fair IT Carlow exposed Glanmire when coach Scannell took many of his starting players off court and at the end of this period they had reduced the lead to 26-15.
The Carlow revival continued on the restart and when Ava Cogan drained a three-pointer in the 14th minute the deficit was reduced to seven points.
For some strange reason Glanmire lost their shape in defence and midway through the quarter there was only five points separating the teams.
Carrie Shepherd has been a good signing for Glanmire and when they needed inspiration she consistently produced key baskets.
Claire Melia has been Glanmire’s best player this season but she had a low-key first half and a buzzer-beater three from Lucy Coogan reduced the deficit to four points 46-42.
The look on the face of the Glanmire coach Mark Scannell was one of fury as the last time these sides clashed in the league IT Carlow only scored 48 points for the entire game and to have 42 on this occasion shows Glanmire’s lack of intensity in defence in the opening 20 minutes.
Both sides exchanged baskets on the restart but when Dunne nailed her third three pointer it brought the minimum between the teams.
Suddenly Glanmire found another gear and four unanswered baskets saw them surge into a 10 point lead with six minutes remaining in the third quarter.
It was a case of playing hard defence for Glanmire as they restricted their opponents to a mere seven points in this period as they increased their lead to 19 points entering the final quarter.