Edel Thornton's Ireland side collapse in the second half to allow the Netherlands beat them in a Euro qualifier

To fair Ireland confused their opponents mixing man to zone defence and it looked good for Ireland at the break when they had a 20-point lead 34-14.
Edel Thornton's Ireland side collapse in the second half to allow the Netherlands beat them in a Euro qualifier

Ireland vs The Netherlands

Ireland 56 

Netherlands 59 

THE Netherlands produced a stunning comeback at the National Basketball Arena on Sunday night after the Ireland women's side failed to build on their impressive first half in this 2023 FIBA Women's EuroBasket Qualifier to lose a game, they should have won by three points.

Both teams looked tentative in the opening exchanges, but the Dutch post player Laura Westerik nailed two early free throws.

Cork captain Edel Thornton of Singleton's SuperValu got Ireland up and running with a stunning drive to the hoop that was followed by three consecutive Irish baskets.

The Dutch look rattled as Ireland continued to hustle them and with Nora Driesson picking two early fouls but suddenly the visitors were sloppy picking up defensive rebounds.

In the closing minutes the Dutch looked rattled and with Edel Thornton (10) scoring another beautiful basket following a deft drive to the hoop it helped Ireland lead 21-9 at the end of the quarter.

On the restart both sides struggled on the scoring front with Ireland’s scoring options not resembling what was produced in the opening period.

In four minutes, Ireland only tallied a single point but with the Netherlands looking a poor scoring unit a Sorcha Tiernan dagger outside the paint edged Ireland into a 14-point lead midway through quarter.

Ireland vs The Netherlands
Ireland vs The Netherlands

Cork ace and Australian based Orla O’Reilly was reintroduced in the 14th minute and immediately nailed a brace of free throws as Ireland increased their lead to 16 points.

To fair Ireland confused their opponents mixing man to zone defence and it looked good for Ireland at the break when they had a 20-point lead 34-14.

Ireland looked fired up on the restart and with Thornton, Claire Melia and Orla O’Reilly draining an early three pointer they surged into a 43-19 lead in the 22nd minute.

Consecutive three pointers helped the visitors and amazingly the outside shooting of the Netherlands helped reduce the deficit to 10 points with four minutes remaining.

Incredibly it got worse for Ireland and with a minute remaining the deficit was reduced to four points.

That’s the way it stayed 46-42 and with the Netherlands outscoring the home side 28-12 the Irish looked in trouble as the fourth quarter loomed.

Coming down the stretch a Royce Bettonvil three pointer brought the minimum between the teams with seven minutes remaining.

The sides were tied at 52 points each in the 38th minute and with 14 seconds remaining Netherlands led by the minimum with Ireland calling a time out.

The ball was fumbled on the inbound pass as the Dutch claimed a famous win against all the odds.

Ireland: C Bracken, M Clarke, D Finn, B Herlihy, S Hickey, R Huijsdens, C Melia, A O’Connor, O O’Reilly, E Thornton, H Thornton, S Tiernan.

Netherlands: N Van De Adel, N Driesson, C Trefers, L Westerik, K Flennan, J Guijt, L De Jonge, M De Kleijn, I Vennema, L Bettonvil, E Fokke, J Jorritsma, J Kleryx, K Kuijt.

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