Moycullen girls went to Glanmire on Sunday afternoon to take on the local team and tournament joint favourites in the National U18 Cup quarter final in the Glanmire Hall. The final score of 74 – 48 doesn’t do the team justice as they competed right to the final buzzer when fatigue and the greater depth of the Glanmire bench eventually put paid to their brave effort. Their reward for the cup run is not insignificant as all of this team are available again next year (and four the following year again) and will be seeded in next year’s draw thus avoiding the heavyweights of Irish Ladies basketball.
It was interesting to note that the Glanmire coach contesting several calls in the first half as his much vaunted team struggled to pull away from the young Moycullen girls. Indeed the half time deficit of four points could easily have been a lead if the girls had been more accurate from the free throw line. This proved to be a significant difference between the teams as Moycullen were less than 35% from the line as opposed to 81% for Glanmire. In the second quarter, Moycullen had outscored their opponents 16-13 going in at the interval 28-32, only four points in arrears. The third proved to be the difference as the girls tired and the stronger Glanmire girls made their experience (four Irish U18 internationals) and home court advantage tell – stretching the lead to 53-34. Shannon Keady had a great game for Moycullen giving the team a rebounding dimension they had been lacking all season as she scored 11. Aine McDonagh battled hard throughout and was the team’s top scorer with a tremendous 18 points. Catherine Connaire continues to lead the overall scoring chart with a points average of 24 over five games.
Moycullen never gave up the ghost and battled on to the end – the forty minutes of intense effort showing on all their faces.
In fairness to Glanmire, they displayed the full range of skills, an excellent fast break which punished every turnover, 81% from the line, six threes and had the games star player in Sarah Kenny.
The management team of Coach Paul O’Brien and Catriona Davoren can be proud of this team and their achievements this year.
Squad: Roisin Thornton, Megan Davoren 4, Emily Molloy, Shannon Keady 11, Ailbhe Davoren 4, Sorcha Whyte 2, Aine McDonagh 18, Catherine Connaire 11.