Cork basketball: Brunell set up Champions Trophy showdown with Glanmire

It'll be an all-Cork affair at the National Basketball Arena next weekend
Cork basketball: Brunell set up Champions Trophy showdown with Glanmire

Singleton's SuperValu Brunell's top-scorer Shannon Ryan takes on WIT Waterford Wildcat's Stephanie O'Shea and Abby Flynn at the Parochial Hall. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell 78 Waterford Wildcats 75 

SINGLETON'S SuperValu Brunell booked their place in the Women’s Champions Trophy final against UCC Glanmire following a battling performance against a resilient Waterford Wildcats side at the Parochial Hall.

In a game that Brunell looked the dominant side in for long periods, they had to withstand a late Wildcats rally before eventually getting over the line, helped by a 27-point haul for Shannon Ryan.

For the Brunell international ace Edel Thornton, it was a victory to savour.

“It was a tough physical battle and we had to dig deep in the end. Wildcats were really up for the game."

The National Basketball Arena in Dublin is sure to be awash with the Cork basketball fraternity with five clubs involved in finals and Thornton believes their game against Glanmire will be another huge test.

“We will have to produce a season-best to defeat this Glanmire side but my attitude is simple let’s give it our best shot for 40 minutes of basketball and let’s see where it takes us.” 

In the opening quarter, both teams went for the jugular but with Shannon Ryan and Katie Walsh putting in a good shift for the home side it was no surprise the sides were level after eight minutes.

Wildcats finished with a neat Rachael Thompson jumper as they edged into a 23-20 with Lauryn Homan excelling for the home side.

Kwanze Murray levelled the game on Brunell’s first possession and it helped take control in this period as they coasted into a 37-28 lead.

Singleton SuperValu Brunell's Edel Thornton tussles with WIT Waterford Wildcat's Sinead Deegan. Picture; Eddie O'Hare
Singleton SuperValu Brunell's Edel Thornton tussles with WIT Waterford Wildcat's Sinead Deegan. Picture; Eddie O'Hare

Wildcats simply refused to lie down and a late Abby Flynn basket helped them reduce the deficit at the interval to seven points 43-36.

Thornton hurt her knee in the opening quarter and had to play through the pain barrier and with three minutes remaining in this period Brunell had extended their lead to 14 points.

The Waterford side responded and courtesy of Sarah Hickey they reduced the deficit to seven points entering the fourth quarter.

Coming down the stretch the game could have gone either way with Wildcats reducing Brunell’s lead to the minimum with a minute remaining.

The tension was at fever pitch but Wildcats blew their possession and Katie Walsh closed out the game with a neat jumper that ensured the Nellies are back in the capital next weekend.

Top scorers for Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell: S Ryan 27, K Walsh 15, K Murray 14.

Waterford Wildcats: R Thompson 23, S Hickey 23, S O’Shea 8.

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

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

Referees: Peter James Coughlan (Cork), Ger Daly (Cork).

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