The Address UCC Glanmire 82 Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell 68
THE Address UCC Glanmire completed the Grand Slam in Irish basketball when winning the Champions Trophy at the National Basketball Arena on Saturday.
Credit to Brunell they looked a beaten side at the break but they rallied in the second without ever looking likely to overhaul the champions.
This was basketball at its best as Glanmire who went into the game with the league and cup double in the bag showed little mercy in disposing of their Cork rivals.
The opening exchanges saw both teams go for the jugular but a neat Casey Grace jumper saw them race into a 16-7 lead in the fifth minute.
There is little doubt the loss of Brunell’s inspirational Irish international ace Edel Thornton was a huge blow and it got worse as Glanmire extended their lead to 19 in the eighth minute.
The class of Glanmire oozed as Brunell had simply no answer to their power.
It was evident Brunell looked out of their depth in the opening quarter and they had a mountain to climb entering the second quarter when they trailed 32-17.
It did not improve for Brunell on the restart as the class of Claire Melia was always likely to hurt them as she displayed shooting skills beyond belief.
Despite the best efforts of Shannon Ryan Brunell were struggling big time and the lead extended to 30 points midway through the quarter.
Credit to Brunell they refused to throw the towel in and although trailing 60-35 at the break they needed a huge third quarter to get back in the game.
On the restart Glanmire went into meltdown as their scoring dried up and after four minutes all they had accumulated was two points.
In fairness, Brunell did everything to get back in the game with Ryan and her fellow American Kwanze Murray posing Glanmire’s defence all sorts of problems and the deficit was reduced to 15 points with 3.12 remaining in this period.
Glanmire had to take Claire Melia off at the start of this period when she picked up her fourth foul and it certainly hurt them in the scoring department as they had only added five points in the opening eight minutes.
Brunell could have been closer but they missed some easy tips as they failed to reduce the deficit by a greater margin when Glanmire were struggling.
One clever move by the Glanmire coach was the double-teaming of Ryan when she threatened to blow the game open.
Entering the fourth quarter it was hard to believe that Glanmire only amassed seven points after notching up 60 in the first half but they were still in pole position when taking a 16-point lead into the final quarter.
Panic didn’t set in for Glanmire and Carrie Shepherd nailed consecutive jumpers on the restart.
Coming down the stretch Glanmire went into another meltdown and consecutive three-pointers from Avril Braham and Katie Walsh reduced the deficit to six points with three minutes remaining.
Glanmire battled back and consecutive baskets reinstalled their 10-point lead.
That’s as good as it got for Brunell as they were left to rue their inept first-half performance.