Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell fail to fire in U18 National Cup final

Meteors dominated throughout the decider at the National Basketball Arena
Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell fail to fire in U18 National Cup final

The Singleton SuperValu Brunell team that played Meteors in the U18 national cup final. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane

Meteors 70 Singleton's SuperValu Brunell 53

Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell failed to fire as Dublin side Meteors were crowned U18 National Cup champions in style at the National Basketball Arena on Sunday.

In fairness, the winners were head and shoulders over their opponents for almost the entire game and with Brunell playing nowhere near their best form they found the going rather tough particularly in the third quarter when they were outscored 26-9.

It was naturally a disappointing day for the Brunell side as coach Kieran O’Leary praised their effort throughout the entire campaign.

O’Leary said: “It was a disappointing day for all of us but look sometimes that can happen in a final and all we can do now is congratulate Meteors who were superb.” 

Both teams looked tentative in the opening exchanges with Meteors racing into a four-point lead.

After a slow start, Brunell got to grips with their opponents and with Rachael Lynch showing her presence at the post they were soon back on parity 5-5.

Aisling Moran looked dangerous outside the paint and when she nailed her second three-pointer her side surged into a 10-5 lead.

Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane
Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane

The Dublin side tore Brunell’s defence asunder as players like Grace Prenter and Aisling Moran were executing baskets for fun and they deservedly led 18-12 heading into the second quarter.

On the restart, both teams played up-tempo basketball but Meteors mainly through the scoring of Prenter kept their noses in front and with a minute remaining they still had their noses in front when commanding a 29-21 lead.

Another huge problem for the Brunell centre Rachael Lynch was that on each occasion she was in possession at the post she was putting the ball down which usually resulted in a jump ball getting called by the officials.

In the closing minute, Brunell has an opportunity to reduce the deficit but they had a lot to do in the second half when trailing 31-23 at the break.

The third quarter was all Meteors and with Prenter and Moran shooting baskets for fun they raced into a 15-point lead midway through the quarter.

To be fair Brunell were a shadow of the team that defeated Limerick Celtics in the semi-final as they lacked structure at both ends of the court.

Another big problem was the lack of influence that Lynch had on the game at the post as Meteors scored for fun in this period and with 2.29 remaining they had surged into a 19-point lead.

Singleton SuperValu Brunell's Saoirse Breen and Freya Blennerhassett of Meteors. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane
Singleton SuperValu Brunell's Saoirse Breen and Freya Blennerhassett of Meteors. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane

It was a case of going through the motions for Meteors coming down the stretch as Brunell never looked likely to get back in the game with the title staying in the capital.

Top scorers for Meteors: G Prenter 30, A Moran 15, A Ryan 10.

Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell: R Sexton 14, A Walsh 12, S Breen 10.

BRUNELL:

M Lynch, K Cooper, L Hannigan, S Breen, N Cullinane, I McSweeney, R Lynch, A Walsh, R Sexton, M Angozi.

METEORS: J Flood, A Marmion, E NilLideadha, A O’Sullivan, G Prenter, F Blennerhassett, J Geaney, A Moran, A Ryan, C Curran, R Grealy, S Fearon, A Gilleran, C Downey.

Referees: Emma Perry (Dublin), Peter James Coughlan (Cork), Emer Buckley (Killarney).

MVP: Grace Prenter (Meteors).

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