The atmosphere in the arena was expectedly electric. Killester managed to hang within one point in the first half but they had no answer for a second half onslaught led by the Cup Finals MVP, Grainne Dwyer.
The Arena’s rings are infamous for their unforgiving nature. This was reaffirmed by a low scoring first half of basketball (Glanmire 25 – 24 Killester). We had the usual oustanding performances from the Dwyers, with Grainne taking home the ridiculous and awesome Gold basketball as her MVP award.
[Can you imagine how those one-on-ones go at the Dwyers’ home? I mean, as the oldest in my family, I know that seniority carries weight (just ask Paddy McGaharan from Belfast Star). I’m putting my money on Niamh. Regardless who would win, it would make for a pretty interesting spectacle.]
Niamh tallied a convincing 11 points, 8 boards, and 2 steals while her younger sister balled out with a Double-Double (21 points, 10 rebounds).
Rockall played less than half the game, presumably because she is still recovering from a recent injury. I don’t believe the stat-line gives an accurate reflection her impact on the game; she brought a new dynamic to the Glanmire side during her 18 minutes of action.
Scannell played like a seasoned Vet: 2-3 from the field, including an important 3-pointer early in the game, 6 rebounds, and a solid contributor on the defensive end. I’d say Jess’s Father, Coach Scannell, was proud of his daughter’s performance tonight.
Looking at Killester, you were just waiting (perhaps, hoping) for them to find some sort of offensive rhythm. It never happened.
I’m a fan of Sullivan’s assertive play from the point guard position; she often wills her way to the basket and makes something out of nothing. Tonight, she had some great shimmies to get past her defender but was more-often-than-not denied at the rim. Not only were the rings as tight as Kyle Hosford’s handles, Glanmire’s interior help defense was always on time.
Killester’s American, Robin Murphy, suffered a similar fate. The talented forward didn’t connect on the majority of her close-range jumpers. Sullivan and Murphy combined for a harsh 5-35 from the field. In these instances, you’d have looked to Mimi Clarke to bail you out from the three-point line. However, even she struggled to find form and was 1-5 from deep.
Despite the spread, both teams fought hard for 40-minutes. Team Montenotte Hotel Cork wrote off their poor start by controlling the game on both ends of the floor in the final two periods. And, deservedly-so, Coach Scannell’s side are taking the silverware home to Cork for the second consecutive year.
Photos from the Women’s Cup Finals