Cork basketball: Brunell can keep up their form heading into festive period

Brunell and their rivals Glanmire are very much in the mix for silverware in the league and National Cup
Cork basketball: Brunell can keep up their form heading into festive period

Alex Macheta, Singleton's SuperValu Brunell, tracks Amy Murphy, Fr Mathew's BC. Picture: Larry Cummins.

SINGLETON’S SuperValu Brunell will be hoping to build on their impressive win against Liffey Celtics in the Women’s Super League when they host IT Carlow at the Parochial Hall on Sunday.

It has been a reasonable season to date for Brunell but for their Senior Irish International captain Edel Thornton believes there is more to come from her side.

“I actually think we are improving as a squad but for now and the entire Christmas period it’s all about staying fit and focused,” said Thornton.

Thornton is one of the most wholehearted players in the league and she is urging her teammates that defence is the key going forward.

Edel added: “We cannot afford to be complacent against IT Carlow as they are good shooters and we need to be in their faces from tip-off.” 

When Brunell play hard defence they look a far better side as they showed lapses against Liffey Celtics that allowed them get clear looks at the hoop.

Another negative was their inability to box out as in one possession they allowed the Kildare side get seven rebounds in the offence court.

Americans Kwanze Murray is lightening quick but at times her shooting options are questionable and Shannon Ryan maybe needs to be used in pick and roll situations that would make her a serious scoring threat.

The IT Carlow coach Martin Conroy continues to work hard to improve his squad but their loss against St Mary’s Castleisland last weekend was a poor result and they will need a season best to compete with their Cork opponents.

The Address UCC Glanmire will travel over the county bounds for a clash with St Mary’s Castleisland who are presently playing without any professionals.

The Kerry side produced a solid performance last weekend in disposing of IT Carlow and despite Glanmire putting 71 points on them in the opening game of the season coach Mark Scannell will not be taking anything for granted.

“No team can be taken lightly in this league and Castleisland are always difficult opponents on their home court and we basically have to go and get the business done,” said Mark Scannell.

The Cork side have a new American partnership in Carrie Shepherd and Jaclyn Duran and coach Scannell is confident they will provide him with the required artillery going forward.

“The attitude and dedication of Carrie and Jaclyn is spot on and that’s important in any squad as the Americans lead the way by example,” added Scannell.

The biggest plus this season for Glanmire has been the performances from Irish international Claire Melia who in my book is the best player in the league and that includes professionals.

Melia is cool and very skillful and if it’s not working inside for her she has the ability to take it outside the arc to nail three-pointers for fun. On the boards, she is consistently on double-figure in getting rebounds and her ability in assists makes her a very special player.

Casey Grace is also back to her best. 

And captain Aine McKenna is presently playing the best basketball of her career. McKenna came from her school in Listowel to play with Glanmire in 2012 and has been a wonderful talent on Leeside and for Irish basketball.

Louise Scannell hit the heights last weekend when finishing with a game-high 25 points against Trinity Meteors. Scannell is a serious shooter and if she continues in this vein of form she is a player that could make a huge contribution to her team for the remainder of the season.

Fr Mathew’s were buzzing last weekend after defeating the champions DCU Mercy in Dublin and they are back in the capital tomorrow for a clash with Trinity Meteors.

The Dublin side are on the back of two big defeats to Cork sides The Address UCC Glanmire and Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell and could suffer another one if they don’t get their house in order.

The biggest problem for Meteors has been a recent outbreak of Covid and although the majority of their side played against Glanmire they should be back to full strength against Mathews.

It's hard to believe Trinity Meteors defeated Fr Mathew’s in the opening game of the league this season and coach Niamh Dwyer is hoping her side can learn the harsh reality from that game.

“There is no use going to Dublin and defeating DCU Mercy and then suddenly lose your way as our win last weekend is something we must build on and let’s hope we can do it against Meteors in this game,” said Dwyer.

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