THE Address UCC Glanmire completed the Grand Slam in Irish women’s basketball when defeating Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell in the Champions Trophy final at the National Basketball Arena.
Mark Scannell’s side, having already won the Super League and National Cup, demolished their Cork rivals in a riveting first half that saw them race into a 25-point interval lead. Strangely they switched off in the third quarter and only chipped in with seven points as Brunell refused to throw in the towel.
Foul trouble to the MVP Claire Melia restricted her minutes in the second half but coach Mark Scannell was delighted to have won all silverware on offer this season.
“It was a game that was over at half-time and unusually we switched off but sometimes that happens when you are too dominant.
“Brunell are a side that have two very good Americans and played some great basketball this season but I have a special team who know how to win basketball games and that’s why they have been the top side this season.”
There was also joy for UCC Demons, who added the Men’s Division 1 title to the Southern Conference and National Cup titles following a win over Sligo All-Stars.
Demons were never led during this final and next season, following their withdrawal from the Super League in 2019, will be back in the top tier of Irish basketball.
It has been a wonderful season for Demons having only lost once in all campaigns and coach Danny O’Mahony couldn’t hide his delight.
“The goal from the very moment the committee decided to go back playing in the Men’s Division 1 was to win it and gain promotion and it’s a job well done by all concerned at our club.”
Demons signed American Andre Kennedy at the start of the season but despite winning their opening four games decided to replace him with Danish Bosman Toby Christensen.
“Andre was a lovely guy but he didn’t fit into our system and our decision to axe him has been proved right as Toby played some exceptional basketball throughout the season.”
There was disappointment for C & S Neptune when they lost 78-72 in a dramatic Men’s Super League final to Tralee Warriors. Having led the majority of the game Neptune were worn down by a resilient Tralee side who dominated coming down the stretch. Neptune assistant coach Darren Geaney said: “The lads gave their all but the shots didn’t drop when the game was there to be won.”