Glanmire defeat rivals Brunell again ahead of cup final next Sunday

Mark Scannell's side look well poised to regain the National Cup for the first time in five years
Glanmire defeat rivals Brunell again ahead of cup final next Sunday

Carrie Shepherd, The Address UCC Glanmire, drives up the court against Singleton's SuperValu Brunell at Mardyke Arena. Picture: Larry Cummins

The Address UCC Glanmire 92 Singleton's SuperValu Brunell 81 

THE Address UCC Glanmire produced another impressive performance before overcoming Singleton's SuperValu Brunell in the Women’s Super League at the Mardyke Arena.

In a free-flowing game defence wasn’t a priority for either side but credit to Glanmire they always produced key baskets when the going got tough.

Glanmire have no shortage of heroes, like new American signing American Tierney Pfirman who chipped in with 23 points on her home debut.

Glanmire, who are involved in the Women’s Paudie O’Connor National Cup final on Sunday next, look like a formidable unit despite the number of players presently out through injury.

For coach Mark Scannell this was another professional performance from his side.

“We showed enough over four quarters that merited a win against a good side that have two good professionals and although our defence will need to be better in the cup final this game was all about the result and getting through without picking up injuries,” said Scannell.

Tierney Pfirman gave Glanmire the perfect start in their first possession but Edel Thornton responded for Brunell.

Pfirman was impressive in the opening exchanges but the basketball was quick and exciting as a brace of free throws from Aine Mckenna edged the home team ahead 12-11 in the fifth minute.

Claire Melia was playing a huge part in the offence with her scoring but it was the assists she was making that posed Brunell all sorts of problems.

The teams were level at 18 points each in the seventh minute but a nice deft move to the hoop by Miriam Loughery saw her make a basket and bonus.

The standard of basketball in the opening half was excellent although the defending was below standard with many players getting unchallenged baskets and entering the second quarter Glanmire commanded a 28-24 lead.

 Kwanza Murray, Singleton's SuperValu Brunell in action under the basket against The Address UCC Glanmire. Picture: Larry Cummins
Kwanza Murray, Singleton's SuperValu Brunell in action under the basket against The Address UCC Glanmire. Picture: Larry Cummins

Pfirman showed her class again with a stunning three-pointer on the restart but Brunell despite having questionable shooting options were still very much in the game and only trailed 35-34 in the 13th minute.

Shannon Ryan was proving a handful for Glanmire at the post and when she banked a shot a minute later it edged the visitors into a one-point lead.

Kwanze Murray was also doing well for Brunell in the offence court but with both defences struggling to contain outside shooting the game was tight with three minutes remaining to the interval.

Consecutive threes from Shepherd and a basket from Melia restored Glanmire with a four-point advantage but they missed three easy baskets in the next possessions to increase their advantage.

Brunell with possession called a time out with four seconds remaining but it came to nothing as Glanmire went in with a 47-33 lead at the break.

On the restart, both teams continued to play high tempo basketball but some of the Brunell players were out of control with their shooting options.

It was clear to see as the game matured that American Pfirman is a tremendous signing as she oozes with class in the shooting and rebounding departments as her side led 70-63 entering the final quarter.

Credit to Brunell they refused to wilt but the reintroduction of Melia six minutes from the end saw the Irish international nail a three-pointer.

In the closing minutes, Brunell threw everything at Glanmire but it proved all in vain as when you give up 92 points you seldom win games at this level.

Glanmire can now look forward to Sunday’s cup final against DCU Mercy and they look in good shape right now to bring the trophy back to Leeside for the first time since 2017.

Top scorers for Glanmire: T Pfirman 23, A McKenna 21, C Shepherd 20, C Melia 17.

Brunell: S Ryan 29, K Murray 20, E Thornton 16.

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.

GLANMIRE: A McKenna, C Grace, L Scannell, M Furlong, A Dooley, C Shepherd, A M Murphy, E O’Shea, M Loughery, A Furlong.

Referees: M Thornhill (Cork), L Aherne (Limerick).

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