Fr Mathews had to withstand a late Ambassador UCC Glanmire rally before securing maximum points in a highly entertaining Women’s Super League game at the Mardyke Arena tonight. Glanmire will rue their poor performance in the third quarter that allowed their opponents outscore them 26-12.
Gráinne Dwyer was simply unstoppable in the opening quarter and when she banked a jumper in the third minute her side surged into a 13-4 lead. Glanmire were struggling at both ends of the court, and with American Tatum Neubert struggling to make an impact they looked a side in disarray as they trailed 17-4 midway the quarter.
Credit to Glanmire, and in particular their second American Shirita Parker who nailed consecutive three-pointers with 52 seconds remaining that reduced the deficit to the minimum 19-18. Leading 22-20 at the break Mathews were stunned when Marie Breen scored with consecutive drives to the hoop as the home side were on a roll.
To be fair both teams were excellent in this period as they traded baskets up to the 15th minute but Glanmire, inspired by Lesley-Ann-Wilkinson, led by five points. The experience of Dwyer and Chantell Alford kept Mathews in the game and a late basket from the former gave the visitors a 43-41 interval lead.
On the restart Glanmire were punished with four consecutive baskets, including a stunning Alford three-pointer, that saw Mathews race into an 11-point lead. As the quarter went on Mathew’s took command, with Shannon Brady having a terrific game at the post, and with two minutes remaining in this period their lead had increased to 16 points.
Leading 69-53 entering the final quarter it was a case of closing out the game in the fourth quarter. The opening minutes were scrappy but Glanmire did manage to register the opening two baskets that reduced the deficit to 12 points with 7.40 remaining on the clock.
Glanmire had their chances to get back in the game after holding their opponents scoreless for five minutes, but in the end Mathews held out for a deserved win.
Ambasador UCC Glanmire: A McKenna, L A Wilkinson, C Grace, M Furlong, A Murphy, N Braham, L Scannell, A Braham, M Loughery, M Breen, T Neubert, A Dooley, S Parker.
Fr Mathews: S O’Shea, E O’Raw, A Murphy, A O’Regan, G Dwyer, C Alford, C McCarthy, A Corkery, A Lynch, S Brady, H McCarthy, E Twomey, M McCarthy.
Referees: Mariusz Landos (Dublin),Ger Daly (Cork).