Brunell’s greater experience showed when the game hung in the balance. And in Edel Thornton they had a player keen to eradicate the nightmare of the previous day’s loss to the same opposition. The young starlet was fouled out in the U18 final and watched in anguish from the bench as the game swung in Glanmire’s favour.
But she showed her mental resolve to bounce back, score 36 points and pick up the MVP award for the second consecutive year.
Naturally, Brunell coach Gary Blount was over the moon that his side had retained their title in emphatic fashion.
“Our defence was a little slack in the first half and once we rectified it in the third quarter we got the breathing space we needed,” Gary said.
“Glanmire are a very good young team and we needed to be sharp but this group of players in Brunell are unbelievable battlers and that’s the reason that national titles have ended up in this club for the past three years.”
Glanmire coach Paul Kelleher was also in full praise of his young team.
“Many of this squad will get another opportunity to win this title and all I can say is that I am proud of their efforts over this memorable weekend,” he said.
It was evident Brunell were intent on playing a high-tempo game, with Thornton giving them the lead in the opening minute only for Sarah Kenny to level proceedings on the next possession.
A brilliant move by Holly Herlihy in the third minute saw her execute in style with a bonus point and that was followed by a similar Lauren Flavey basket.
The tempo of the game increased with both sides trading baskets but Brunell were relying on Thornton to keep them in the game with her devastating pace to hoop.
The contest was finely poised in the closing minutes of the quarter but, with Glanmire missing a couple of good scoring opportunities, Thornton hit a last-gasp basket that gave her side a 21-17 lead entering the second period.
After Orla Connolly increased Brunell’s lead, Glanmire responded with two unanswered baskets. Indeed Paul Kelleher called a time out in the 13th minute after Thornton had registered her 19th point.
Credit to Glanmire though, they battled hard and, with Sarah Kenny draining two baskets, the teams were level at 27 points each with four minutes remaining to the interval.
Both sides struggled in the scoring stakes in the closing minutes but a late Waters basket ensured Brunell led 34-30 at the break.
Once the irresistible Thornton turned on the style in the third period Glanmire were facing defeat. Trailing 57-43, Glanmire needed inspiration from some department but Brunell were in no mood to surrender their title as the game ended amid ecstatic scenes among the winning players and fans.
Scorers for Brunell: E Thornton 36, A Waters 12, M O’Leary 12.
Scores for Glanmire: S Kenny 16, O Dupuy 12, H McCarthy 11.
SINGLETONS SUPERVALU BRUNELL: G Kelleher, E Thornton, A Connolly, O Connolly, A Waters, M O’Leary, C O’Sonnell, A Dineen, B O’Leary, A Connolly, A Connolly, N McCarthy, E Murphy.
TEAM BOARDWALK GLANMIRE: H Herlihy, C O’Brien, E O’Mahony, H Lenihan, S Geaney, A Dunlea, L Mullins, L Falvey, C McCarthy, K Walsh, L A Wilkinson, O Dupuy, S Kenny.
Referees: M Nazimek (Dublin), I Aim (Dublin), E Perry (Dublin).