Glanmire basketballers lose cup final but can take huge pride

The Cork side gave the cup favourites plenty to worry about for long spells, but in the end their greater firepower saw them over the line
Glanmire basketballers lose cup final but can take huge pride

Glanmire BC’s Aimee O’Riordan scores a point. Picture: INPHO/Ben Brady

Liffey Celtics 55 Glanmire 47 

DESPITE a terrific battling display from Glanmire, they went down to Liffey Celtics in a highly competitive Women’s Intermediate National Cup final at the National Basketball Arena on Saturday.

In a game that either could have went either way the difference, in the end, proved Celtics' ability to knock down key baskets in the second half.

The game began with both sides playing high-tempo basketball and a Roisin Quirke three-pointer gave the Leesiders the perfect start.

Incredibly both sides turned the ball over consistently in the opening three minutes but the Kildare side after going four minutes without a score eventually got up and running courtesy of a Niamh Masterson baseline jumper.

The scoring average up to the sixth minute was dreadful with both teams sharing eight points but the former UL star Dearbhla Breen broke the Glanmire drought with a basket and bonus.

Glanmire BC’s Tasha Tully. Picture: INPHO/Ben Brady
Glanmire BC’s Tasha Tully. Picture: INPHO/Ben Brady

In the closing minutes, both teams missed a number of scoring opportunities but Glanmire for sheer determination deserved to command a 12-8 lead entering the second quarter.

On the restart, Liffey Celtics relied on their three-point shooting but in the 13th minute, they eventually scored five unanswered points to edge ahead by the minimum.

The return of Breen helped Glanmire steady the ship as her experience stood out big time when Celtics threatened to take control.

The closing minutes were competitive with the sides tied at 25 points each with 50 seconds remaining before Erin Bracken nailed a monstrous shot outside the paint.

It must be said some of the refereeing decisions in the first half were atrocious on both sides but it was Celtics who went in at the interval leading by the minimum 28-27 The Kildare outfit got a reasonable start to the third quarter when Caoimhe Masterson nailed consecutive three-pointers and when Shauna Homan followed up with a similar basket the Celtics lead was extended to seven points.

The difference in this period was that Celtics' shots were dropping but in fairness, Glanmire were still very much in the game when trailing 40-38 with 2.34 remaining.

In the closing minutes, the teams shared a basket each and it was still all to play for entering the final quarter with Celtics leading 42-40.

Glanmire BC’s Orla Kiely comes up against Karen O’Shea of Liffey Celtics. Picture: INPHO/Ben Brady
Glanmire BC’s Orla Kiely comes up against Karen O’Shea of Liffey Celtics. Picture: INPHO/Ben Brady

Karen Mealey showed her experience with a crucial three-pointer on the restart as suddenly Celtics looked to be in the ascendancy.

Once again the spirit of Glanmire resurfaced as various players showed true intensity in the boards as they levelled the game with 3.14 following a Maura Dillon basket.

Another twist as Celtics responded with the next five points as Glanmire looked fatigued.

Glanmire did get a small consolation when Maura Dillon was voted MVP for her amazing contribution on the boards that saw her amass 21 rebounds but her side just fell short.

Top scorers for Liffey Celtics: K Mealey 18, N Masterson 14, C Masterson 11.

Glanmire: M Dillon 12, D Breen 10, T Tully 9.

CELTICS: T Adesina, A Mullins, C Masterson, R O’Carroll, K O’Shea, M O’Sullivan, A Tiernan, N Masterson, E Bracken, K Mealey, A Harrington, S Homan.

GLANMIRE: O McCarthy, R Quirke, E O’Sullivan, D Breen, O Kiely, R Patterson, J Murphy, H Sexton, A Gillespie, M Dillon, T Tully, A O’Riordan, L Fitzpatrick, F Lynch.

Referees: L Fenwick (Dublin), A Wickham (Dublin), N Podolsak (Cavan).

MVP: Maura Dillon (Glanmire).

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