Glanmire bid to finally edge Liffey Celtics

Ambassador UCC Glanmire face Liffey Celtics in the Women’s Super League final as the curtain comes down on the basketball season at the Waterford IT tomorrow night.

The Kildare outfit won the regular season and defeated the Cork side twice in the campaign but this tie decides the destiny of the title.

Glanmire coach Mark Scannell said: “We lost to this Liffey Celtics side three times in a row but I have told my players that we haven’t produced our best basketball against them in recent games.”

It has been a difficult season for Glanmire given their Cup final disappointment and the departure of two American stars.

Scannell added: “It’s no big deal. Alexis Eckles wasn’t the right fit for the team and last week we had to release Adily Martucci as she needed to return home for personal reasons, and now we have Ashley Prim leading our charge.”

Scannell wants to see his side replicate the form showed in defeating DCU Mercy in the semi-final when they hit the court in Waterford. He reasoned: “When we produce that brand of basketball, we are a formidable unit and it will be a case of going out there and getting the job done in a professional manner.”

Celtics coach Mark Byrne is adamant his side will be ready for battle.

“We know what Glanmire are all about and it will take a mighty effort from my team to retain our title but it’s certainly not beyond us.

“I watched their semi-final win against DCU Mercy and they were very impressive but we have coped with them before and there is no reason why we cannot do it again.

Liffey Celtics were rocked by the departure of ace American Jasmine Boone for Australia three weeks ago but have since signed Tisha Philips, an all-Big Sky Conference player out of Eastern Washington University.

Byrne added: “Losing a player in the class of Jasmine was always going to be tough but we are delighted in the manner Tisha Philips has fitted into our system as it cannot be easy on her at this stage of the season.”

The performance of Glanmire’s stalwart Gráinne Dwyer was crucial in the win over DCU Mercy and she will be likely tasked with negating the scoring threats of Devon Brookshire or Áine O’Connor in Waterford.

There are three other finals down for decision in the Women’s division one Top Four with Marble City Hawks awaiting the winners of Fr Mathew’s and UL Huskies. The Men’s Champions Trophy will see Templeogue and the winners of Tralee Warriors and UCD Marian concluding the action at the WIT complex.

Fixtures

Tonight

Men’s Division One League Cup semi-final:

IT Carlow v Neptune, Waterford IT Arena, tonight, 8pm.

Tomorrow

Women’s Division One Play-off final:

Marble City Hawks v Fr Mathews, WIT Arena, 1pm

Men’s Division One League Cup final:

Dublin Lions v IT Carlow /Neptune, WIT Arena, 3pm

Women’s Super League Play-off final:

Courtyard Liffey Celtics v Ambassador UCC Glanmire, WIT Arena, 5pm

Men’s Super League Champions Trophy Final:

UCD Marian/Garvey’s Tralee Warriors v Pyrobel Killester/Black Amber Templeogue, WIT Arena, 7pm.


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