Despite Maura Dillon's heroics, Glanmire suffer late cup heartbreak

Dillon was superb for her side hitting 12 points and grabbing 21 rebounds
Despite Maura Dillon's heroics, Glanmire suffer late cup heartbreak

The Glanmire BC team huddle during a timeout. Picture: INPHO/Ben Brady

HEARTBREAK for Glanmire In this NICC National Cup final played at the National Basketball Arena on Saturday morning as a late scoring spurt saw Liffey Celtics crowned cup champions.

With less than three minutes to go, Glanmire were in with a great chance of a cup final upset. The sides were level at 47 and the game was there for the winning, but they ran out of steam and legs against a much younger side.

Glanmire will be hurt by this defeat. Where no one gave them a chance before the game began, they played with passion, pride and no little skill to rattle their opponents. 

On another day could have won this final, but silly turnovers and some bad shot selections cost them in the end.

Inspired by Maura Dillon, Dearbhla Breen and Tasha Tully, Glanmire proved all the doubters wrong. They were not going to roll over easily and while they will be disappointed with the defeat, they can take great solace in their performance.

They gave their all, left it all out on the court and you can’t ask for any more than that from your team.

Cobh's Zara Smith and Maura Dillon of Glanmire during the semi-final. Picture: INPHO/Tom Maher
Cobh's Zara Smith and Maura Dillon of Glanmire during the semi-final. Picture: INPHO/Tom Maher

It took a very good Liffey Celtics side 37 minutes to break them down.

A superb defensive performance from Glanmire saw them lead by four at the end of the first quarter 12-8.

EFFORT

Playing a big, wide zone coach Nicky Bohane will have been delighted with the effort his side put in on the defensive side of the floor, but he would not have been pleased with the amount of turnovers and errors made in the front court.

Many of their eight turnovers were unforced and it hurt Glanmire as they tried to settle into the game.

To be fair, both sides struggled in the opening quarter with nerves very evident in all the players with Maura Dillon the exception. She hit six points and was a menace under the boards at both ends of the floor.

At the half, Glanmire were still very much in the final trailing by one, 27-28. While they were still struggling to find their offensive rhythm, their ability to pick up second-chance points thanks to their rebounding ability kept them in the hunt.

Pre-game favourites Liffey Celtics with a mixture of U18 players and recent National League stars were expected to win this intermediate final at their ease and be out of sight at the half, but the Cork side were showing they were capable of creating an upset.

Liffey Celtic’s started the third in superb fashion, hitting three three-pointers to lead 37-30 with seven minutes still to play.

But, credit to Glanmire, they never went away and with Dearbhla Breen and Dillon fighting for every ball and basket, Glanmire kept within touching distance entering the fourth, trailing 40-42.

Glanmire BC’s Dearbhla Breen. Picture: INPHO/Ben Brady
Glanmire BC’s Dearbhla Breen. Picture: INPHO/Ben Brady

With Maura Dillon continuing to fight a lone battle under the boards and pick up points, Glanmire were still in this final with just over three minutes to play as the sides were level at 47 apiece.

But when Liffey Celtics needed a hero, up stepped the game’s MVP Niamh Masterson to hit five unanswered points to break Glanmire hearts and see her side over the line.

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