Ireland Under 18 women made it four wins from four games and secured their spot in the quarter-finals at the 2017 FIBA U18 European Championships in Dublin this evening with a huge 63-49 point win over Great Britain.
Tommy O’Mahony’s side have now topped Group D with just one game left to play against Ukraine tomorrow.
The girls in green never doubted the result from the off as they oozed confidence from the tip off and drove into a 19-6 lead by the end of the first. Claire Melia, Bronagh Power Cassidy and Rachel Huijsdens led the scoring early on, with Melia later going on to bag another double-double (her third of the tournament) by the final buzzer.
Louise Scannell and Power Cassidy kept the momentum going through the second, with huge defensive displays across the board from the Irish, with Power Cassidy, Dayna Finn and Maeve Phelan in particular working hard on the British guards to keep them at bay, while Melia was on hand under the boards to get vital rebounds to lead 37-23 at the half.
Another huge performance in the third quarter saw Power Cassidy bring her tally to 13, with Melia making the stats spin once more with huge rebounds and assists and kept her position as a firm favourite with the fans with hard work at both ends of the court to finish 51-30 to the good at the end of the quarter. Strong defence in the fourth quarter of a tough and physical contest ensured Ireland ran out deserving 63-49 point winners in the end and book their spot in this weekend’s quarter-finals. Listen to reaction from Coach O’Mahony here.
Earlier today, the Ireland Under 16 men’s team flew to Bulgaria to kick off their FIBA U16 Men’s European Championship Division B which sees their first game tip in on Thursday.
Pat Price’s charges will contest Group C alongside Hungary, Slovak Republic, Norway, Czech Republic and Bosnia and Herzegovina and have a busy schedule of games ahead of them.
Speaking before the tournament, Coach Price stated: “We’re all equally excited about the next few weeks. We will take it one game at a time and look to improve throughout. We need to get off on the right foot against Hungary on Thursday.”