UL 66 (33) (M Fahy 23, R Vanderwal 19, M Liston 10) Team Montenotte Cork 54 (30) (V ODriscoll 14, C Rockall 12, N Dwyer 10) MVP; Rachel Vanderwal (UL)
UL were crowned double champions after a 66-54 victory over Team Montenotte Cork in the final of the Nivea Womens SuperLeague. James Weldons side secured the National Cup earlier this year, and secured this title after a hard fought 66-54 win over Team Montenotte Cork.
UL coach James Weldons praise for his charges was well justified. 'To win 35 games in a row is unbelievable. I cant say enough about the commitment and dedication of those girls. They had us well scouted.You have to give credit to Cormac (ODonoghue) and his Montenotte team.We maybe could have been further ahead at half time but we have a great system and a great belief here.
However the coach would not be drawn on the future after this record-breaking season. 'Weve just won the treble. We will go and enjoy this and then we can think about what we are going to do next,' he added.
A decisive opening from the Cork outfit saw them take an early 6-2 lead, thanks in large part to some sterling work from Valerie ODriscoll. UL responded through Aoife McDermott, who netted to bring her side back to within two. ULs success this campaign has been built on a foundation of controlled attacking play and James Weldons side were soon back on level terms midway through the first.
Rachel Clancy hit a huge three and drew the foul to send UL into a three point lead soon after. Claire Rockall and ODriscoll combined in response for Team Montonotte, but it was UL who were clearly in the ascendency at the end of the first quarter with a 19-12 lead.
Cormac O Donoghues side came back brilliantly at the beginning of the second quarter, relentlessly whittling the UL lead down to just three points.However UL are a side not easily rattled, and captain Rachel Vanderwal was a picture of composure as her side reaffirmed their dominance.A wonderful combination between Michelle Fahy and Vanderwal stretched the difference back to seven.Aine McKenna hit a vital three with seconds remaining in the second to bring the Cork side to within three. Half time 33-30 UL.
UL began the third determined not to concede further ground to their determined opponents and were again more clinical in attack as Vanderwal and co slowly built up a ten point lead. Team Montonotte were showing incredible appetite to get back into the game, yet every time they got to within range, UL underlined their quality by eking out important scores to keep the Cork side at bay. However, Montenotte simply would not go away and managed to get within three heading into the final quarter.46-43.
The theme of the game was borne out once again in the fourth as UL sought to blunt the Montenotte attack, and in so doing, managed to establish a nine point lead with four minutes remaining. James Weldons side were able to close out the game in the final stages, deservedly securing a memorable double, 66-54 with a thoroughly professional display.
Nivea Womens Superleague Shield Final Ulster Rockets 81 (43) (M Houlihan 26, A Murray 13, S Dick 10) Singletons SuperValu Brunell 77 (36) (D O Leary 25, A Waters 20, M OLeary 14)
MVP; Megan Houlihan (Ulster Rockets)
Ulster Rockets claimed the inaugural Nivea Womens SuperLeague Shield with an 81-77 win over Singletons SuperValu Brunell at the National Basketball Arena. In a contest that was close throughout, Rockets managed to claim eventual victory after a tremendous battle against a spirited Brunell side.
Consecutive corner three pointers by Rockets Susan Dick and Aishling Murray gave Ulster a four point lead which was cut short by a return three pointer by Danielle OLeary to bring Brunell to within one point (16 - 15)
A three pointer by Megan Houlihan gave Rockets a narrow 19-17 advantage. Both sides were showing impressive dynamism in attack in the opening stages, reflected in a first quarter score-line of 25-25.
Rockets began brightest in the second quarter, Breda Dicks side establishing an early four point lead. There was little scoring activity for long periods of the second until Susan Dick followed by Sinead Smye hit consecutive threes to give Rockets a nine point lead. Amy Waters responded with a timely basket for Brunell, but Susan Dick was in tremendous shooting form and hit another three pointer for her side to re-establish the nine point cushion. Brunell managed another score in the final minute of the quarter, but it was Rockets in command at half time with a 43-36 lead.
Danielle OLeary fashioned a fine three pointer in the third to bring Brunell back to within five. Amy Waters followed soon afterwards with a lay-up as Brunells challenge began to gather momentum. Megan OLeary then brought the Cork side to within one before Alison Kearney gave Brunell the lead. It was a remarkable turnaround in the opening four minutes of the quarter which had Rockets reeling. The Ulster side responded with two quick scores to regain the lead. Some superb work from Aishling Murray then helped Rockets establish a four point cushion. It was shaping up to be a dramatic final quarter with Rockets leading 67-64.
Megan OLeary had Brunell within one early in the fourth with a fine drive to the basket. Rockets managed to fashion a six point lead midway through the quarter thanks to some fine work inside from Noleen Lennon and Megan Houlihan. Rockets coolly set about building the lead with Mairead McNally giving her side a 10 point lead. Megan OLeary and Amy Waters rallied to bring Brunell to within five with two minutes to play. Danielle OLeary then hit a vital three to bring Brunell within two. It was a brave fight-back from Brunell, but it was Rockets who held out to win with a final score of 81-77.
Basketball Ireland Womens Division One Final
Team Tom McCarthy St Marys Castleisland 58 (29) (E O Connor 28, T Hartnett 11, R O Loughlin 8) Tralee Imperials 47 (22) (M Barry 12, L Raymond 10, E Sherwood 9)
MVP; Eileen OConnor (Team Tom McCarthy St Marys)
Team Tom McCartys St Marys secured the Basketball Ireland Womens Division One title for this season after a spirited fight-back saw them eclipse Kerry rivals Tralee Imperials on a scoreline of 58-47.
Emma Sherwood opened the scoring for Imperials, finishing off a well-rehearsed move. St Marys responded but it was the Tralee side that was quickest out of the blocks, Liam Cullotys side establishing an 8-2 lead with just two minutes played. St Marys took some time to find their way into the game, but managed to make some inroads on the scoreboard midway through the quarter, eroding the Imperials lead to just four points. A fine score from Tracey Hartnett kept St Marys in the hunt, but it was Imperials in command at the end of the first quarter with a 17-12 lead.
St Marys rallied early in the second, some determined work from Tracey Hartnett and Miriam Leane helping to get Tommy OConnors side within three. Linda Raymond responded by hitting a huge three and drawing a foul-which she duly converted to give Imperials a seven point lead. St Marys then embarked on a remarkable scoring sequence which saw them surge into a four point lead with two minutes remaining in the first half. Mags Donohue contributed well under the boards as the Imperials impetus began to flounder. St Marys were galvanised and took a 29-22 lead into the half time interval.
St Marys stretched out their lead at the outset of the third quarter, Imperials struggling to regain the composure which they had shown in the earlier exchanges. They did manage to fashion a response with three minutes remaining in the quarter, a marked increase in intensity stripping the St Marys lead down to five. Moments later the gap was just one point thanks to some fine work from Ashley Campbell. A huge three pointer from Tracy Hartnett gave St Marys a timely lift moments before the buzzer to give her side a seven point lead heading into the final quarter.40-33.
A frenetic final quarter saw Imperials desperately try to find a way back. St Marys never looked like relinquishing the lead however, and were deservedly crowned Division One champions with a final score-line of 58-47.
National League Finals 2012 Results
Friday March 23 2012
Nivea Womens SuperLeague Final
UL (Limerick) 66 (33) (M Fahy 23, R Vanderwal 19, M Liston 10) Team Montenotte Cork (Cork) 54 (30) (V ODriscoll 14, C Rockall 12, N Dwyer 10)
MVP; Rachel Vanderwal (UL)
Saturday March 24 2012
Nivea Womens Superleague Shield Final
Ulster Rockets (Belfast) 81 (43) (M Houlihan 26, A Murray 13, S Dick 10) Singletons SuperValu Brunell (Cork) 77 (36) (D O Leary 25, A Waters 20, M OLeary 14) MVP; Megan Houlihan (Ulster Rockets)
Basketball Ireland Womens Division One Final
Team Tom McCarthy St Marys Castleisland (Kerry) 58 (29) (E O Connor 28, T Hartnett 11, R O Loughlin 8) Tralee Imperials (Kerry) 47 (22) (M Barry 12, L Raymond 10, E Sherwood 9) MVP; Eileen OConnor (Team Tom McCarthy St Marys)
History makers defeat Luxembourg at FIBA U16 Europe - 10 days ago
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Ireland's U16 women made history to guarantee a highest ever finish at a FIBA European Championships with a 46-38 win over Luxembourg. A remarkable second half turn around ensured victory against a team who had won their previous encounter by 18 points. Ireland's defensive credentials were in full in display in the first half with Luxembourg pressured into mistakes and wrong options. Despite early scores by Bronagh Power Cassidy and Maeve O'Seaghdha (183-PF-00),, Ireland couldn't find the... [read more]
Ireland's U16 women made history to guarantee a highest ever finish at a FIBA European Championships with a 46-38 win over Luxembourg. A remarkable second half turn around ensured victory against a team who had won their previous encounter by 18 points. Ireland's defensive credentials were in full in display in the first half with Luxembourg pressured into mistakes and wrong options. Despite early scores by Bronagh Power Cassidy and Maeve O'Seaghdha (183-PF-00),, Ireland couldn't find their offensive rhythm and Luxembourg led 22-16 at the half. Dayna Finn (177-F/G-00) sparked a 6-0 run as Ireland needed only two minutes of the second quarter to level the game. Luxembourg would net two baskets in the next couple of minutes but it would be their only baskets of the quarter as Ireland would dominate the period and outscore their opponents 20-4 to take control of the game. Luxembourg would try and find way back in the fourth but the game was now firmly in Ireland's control and as Ireland's top scorer on the day, Annaliese Murphy, made her second three of the contest. It was clear there would be no way back for Luxembourg and Ireland closed the game out with a 46-38 victory. Ireland will now play Greece vs Finland at 1pm on Sunday to see if they finish up in 6th or 5th position, either way it will be the highest ever finish for an Irish squad. Courtesy of: basketballireland.ie
Fiona O'Dwyer (ex Northumbria) is a newcomer at Stabia - 20 days ago
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Castellammare di Stabia (Serie A2) strengthened their roster with addition of American (has also Irish passport) forward Fiona O'Dwyer (180, college: Emmanuel, MA). She has played for the last two seasons at Team Northumbria in British WBBL. In 18 games she recorded 13.7ppg, 9.4rpg (#4 in the league), 1.7apg and 1.3spg last season. O'Dwyer won English WBBL championship title. She was voted Eurobasket.com All-English WBBL 1st Team in 2016. O'Dwyer has played also professionally in United K... [read more]
Castellammare di Stabia (Serie A2) strengthened their roster with addition of American (has also Irish passport) forward Fiona O'Dwyer (180, college: Emmanuel, MA). She has played for the last two seasons at Team Northumbria in British WBBL. In 18 games she recorded 13.7ppg, 9.4rpg (#4 in the league), 1.7apg and 1.3spg last season. O'Dwyer won English WBBL championship title. She was voted Eurobasket.com All-English WBBL 1st Team in 2016. O'Dwyer has played also professionally in United Kingdom for Force. She graduated from Emmanuel College, MA in 2013 and it will be her fourth season as a professional player.
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