The Irish international star is an integral part of the Team Ambassador UCC Glanmire side that will face Cork rivals Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell in the first senior women’s cup semi-final.
Dwyer was one of many people that had flu over the Christmas period but managed to get back training this week. She said: “I suppose basketball is a little bit like hurling when you haven’t touched a ball for a fortnight you get a little rusty and your first touch is that bit slower.”
Glanmire are one of the top sides and are trying to complete a third consecutive league and cup double. For Dwyer, winning a cup medal in any grade of basketball is every player’s dream.
“It’s the biggest show in Irish basketball and for some strange reason the cup has always been bigger than the league, with TV and media at fever pitch for the finals weekend,” said Dwyer.
Bragging rights and everything that goes with a Cork derby will be on view tonight.
“The rivalry is pretty intense but it’s a game I relish playing in. I think our rivalry was more intense a few years ago but I think the Brunell girls have got a little older and have matured into classy basketball players. The work that goes into keeping a basketball club like Brunell going is a huge task and all their volunteers should be commended.”
Brunell have only managed to defeat Glanmire once since they came into the Super League five years ago and have since lost key players like Edel Thornton and Megan O’Leary. “I think the loss of Edel and Megan has hurt them but they still have two current senior international players in Amy Waters and Danielle O’Leary.”
Glanmire have a top-class American in Chantelle Alford but Brunell have a slick post player in Kaylee Kilpatrick.
“When Brunell defeated us last season in the second leg of a cup clash Kaylee took us to the cleaners and we need to curtail her in this semi-final,” said Dwyer.
Glanmire have lost Niamh Dwyer, Amanda O’Regan, Miriam Byrne, and Marie Breen but are unbeaten in this campaign.
Dwyer said: “I don’t think the league is as strong this season and I think many of our opponents forgot we possibly still have the strongest starting five in this country...
There is a lot of big players and big scorers in our team but I think when I look back on our successes of the past it’s all been about playing as a team.
“If we do not play well as a team, there is every chance we could get slipped. We have to be ready for what Brunell are going to throw at us as I know they will have a massive support at Neptune willing them on from start to finish.”
Glanmire have not lost a cup game in three years at this level and Dwyer is confident the run will continue tonight. “We have the firepower to win.”