THE Address UCC Glanmire remain at the summit of the Women’s Super League following a hard-earned win over Galway side NUIG Mystics at the Mardyke Arena on Sunday.
The inside power of the NUIG American Sharlyn Ganpo-Nkwenka posed Glanmire problems in the early exchanges as they raced into a 4-2 lead in the third minute.
There is little doubt Glanmire looked flustered in the offence court as they struggled to break down some stringent NUIG defending.
It got worse for Glanmire when Nkwenka nailed another brace of baskets with the home side introducing Orla O’Reilly to shore up their defence.
Glanmire didn’t expect to face the problems that NUIG were posing them and with a minute remaining they trailed 18-12.
Credit to the home side they responded and good defence by Simone O’Shea helped them claw it back to parity at 18 points each heading into the second quarter.
Claire O’Sullivan gave Glanmire the perfect start with a neat basket and consecutive Simone O’Shea three-pointers ensured they surged into a 30-24 advantage three minutes into this period.
The one trait in this NUIG team is their ability to battle and for a side that were defeated by 60 points on their home court when these teams last met they have improved big time.
In fairness, as the quarter matured Glanmire began taking command and it was no surprise at the interval that they had taken control when commanding an 11-point lead, 46-35.
It must be said that NUIG were guilty of some poor turnovers and didn’t deserve to be trailing by 11 points at the break.
The westerners had yet another turnover on their first possession as Claire O’Sullivan extended Glanmire’s lead with a neat jumper.
Once again the tenacity of the westerners was evident as they hustled and harried and although they trailed by 11 points midway through the quarter they were still very much in the game.
The home side responded and with O’Sullivan and Mia Furlong nailing crucial baskets they recovered in style but the turnover count increased for the visitors.
In this quarter Glanmire, despite commanding an 11-point at the end of it, were basically getting destroyed on the boards as NUIG picked up second and third attempts at the hoop.
Coming down the stretch NUIG kept up the battle but with five minutes remaining they still trailed by 10 points.
In the heat of battle Glanmire showed their experience without excelling as the NUIG challenge finally petered out.
B Byrd 23, C O’Sullivan 19, K Rasheed 16, A McKenna 15.
N S Ganpo-Nkwenk 14, K McCleane 11, H Finn 10.
A McKenna, B Byrd, C O’Sullivan, A Murphy, M Furlong, A Furlong, L Scannell, S O’Reilly, S O’Shea, K Rasheed, C O’Driscoll, A Dooley.
K McCleane, C McCreanor, A Blaney, E Galvin, A McDonagh, E Glavin, C O’Sullivan, M O’Brien, A Ryan, M Wiazowska, S Messier, N Sharlyn-Ganpo-Nkwenk.
M Landos (Dublin), L Aherne (Limerick).