Impressive DCU Mercy spike Glanmire’s hat-trick bid

When Glanmire lost four key members of their Super League squad in the off-season, many predicted a meltdown of their club.

Impressive DCU Mercy spike Glanmire’s hat-trick bid

The one mistake they made was that head coach Mark Scannell had the wheels in motion to ensure the club would still be to the forefront of Irish basketball.

In Friday’s Women’s cup semi-final they showed true class when brushing aside local rivals Singleton’s Supervalu Brunell.

The bandwagon continued on Saturday when their U18 side qualified for the final when easily disposing of a highly rated Liffey Celtics side (82-54) as head coach Scannell reflected on his club’s determination to remain a superpower.

Scannell said: “I knew people were rubbing their hands when we lost Niamh Dwyer, Amanda O’Regan, Miriam Byrne and Marie Breen but as a club we were determined to be a force within the sport.”

Although Scannell wasn’t sure how this season would pan out he was relatively confident the young players he was drafting in wouldn’t let him down.

“When you lose four experienced players at Super League level it isn’t easy to replace them but all you can do is look at your conveyor belt and hope the players coming through have the bottle to succeed,” added Scannell.

Players like Annaliese Murphy, Louise Scannell and Jayne Fitzgerald, all 17-year-olds, have blended seamlessly into the set-up.

Said Scannell: “We take our underage structure seriously and many of our leading Super League players get involved with coaching — that’s not likely to change anytime soon.”

Indeed Scannell recognised the many volunteers within the club, as running a club like Glanmire demands a serious financial injection.

“We have many volunteers who do various jobs within the club and in fairness the parents of the players are always available to help us.

“When you look at the work that Con Allen and Timmy Murphy have done over many years it makes you proud to be involved with this great club,” concluded Scannell.

Glanmire stormed to victory in the Hula Hoops U18 semi, leading 25-10 after the first quarter and maintaining a healthy lead, despite the best efforts of Celtics’ Ciara Bracken. Louise Scannell was hugely impressive for Glanmire and as well as chipping in with 22 points over all, she was also hugely effective defensively.

DCU Mercy just got the better of Portlaoise Panthers in the other semi (56-51), despite a huge 26-point effort from Portlaoise’s Claire Melia. The Irish international’s team led 32-31 at the half but standout efforts from Rachel Huijsdens and Bronagh Power-Cassidy turned the tide in DCU Mercy’s favour. The DCU Mercy U20 squad spoiled Glanmire’s hat-trick efforts yesterday too — the Cork club’s U20s going down 61-49 to an impressive display in the semi at the Parochial Hall.

The Dubliners completely dominated the opening quarter with Nicole Clancy, Rachel Huijsdens and Anna Brennan all contributing to an 11-0 run. Glanmire’s initial attacking play was too erratic and DCU Mercy punished them almost every time to lead 20-7 at the end of the first quarter, despite good play by Annaliese Murphy.

Glanmire opted to switch to a zone defence in the second, while at the other end of the court Hollie Herlihy produced a tidy and-one for the homeside. Louise Scannell and Olivia Dupuy were also doing their best but good shooting by Bronagh Power-Cassidy, Aoife Mcguire and top scorer Huijsden saw DCU lead 32-20 at the half-time.

On the changeover, Glanmire changed their dynamic as Hayley Lenihan and Jayne Fitzgerald reduced the gap to eight points.

A decisive three by Bronagh Power-Cassidy set the tone for the fourth quarter however as the Dubliners managed to regain control of the tempo of the game and beat the full-court press.

It will be an all-Dublin final as reigning champions Pyrobel Killester defeated Meteors by 13 points at the Parochial Hall on Saturday.

Meteors jumped into a 21-9 lead but led by Aoife O’Halloran, McCann and Ali Connolly, Killester retired at the interval three-points shy 26-29.

It would be three-pointers by Lyons, McCann (2) and Connolly that would see Killester take just their second lead of the game as they entered the final quarter (46-45), eventually running out 62-49 winners.

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