The Address UCC Glanmire are looking to add the Champions Trophy to their Super League title win this ‘Super Saturday’ live on TG4.
A win over Waterford Wildcats last weekend secured Mark Scannell’s side a place back in the final of a trophy they won last year as part of a treble.
They will face DCU Mercy in the final after the Dublin side beat Trinity Meteors in their semi-final last weekend.
Glanmire had a comfortable 94-67 win in their semi, turning the tables on the Waterford side after the Wildcats had gone to the Mardyke Arena a fortnight before and taken the spoils.
Glanmire’s American guard Brittany Byrd feels like a win on Saturday would top off a fantastic season for the side.
“I feel like we had a great season, winning the league. Now it’s time to finish it off by winning the Champions Trophy. Obviously we weren’t able to win the Cup or be televised winning the Cup. We lost in the first round against Trinity.
“But this game is very important because it’s going to be televised, everyone’s going to be watching. I’m just ready to win, ready to play.” Byrd is in her first season with the club and is taking inspiration from the admiration she has gotten from underage players in Glanmire.
“I love the Glanmire girls, we have younger players in the club and we have camps. And I feel like they really look up to me and really admire me. I inspire them and it’s just a good feeling that you can inspire the younger kids in another country.”
Byrd’s family will have to get up bright and early in the States to watch the game which has a 12pm tip-off Irish time but she says that is the plan.
“It’s pretty early in the morning but they said they’ll get up and watch it!”
For their part DCU Mercy’s are well aware of the threat Glanmire pose. DCU’s Hannah Thornton says they are well prepared.
“Whenever we meet Glanmire we always try and make sure we are as prepared as possible. It’s a quick turnaround from last week’s game obviously. We played Glanmire three weeks ago and that was a fairly close game. It’s good that that was not so long ago so we can tighten up on a few different things.” Glanmire have won both contests in the league this season so does that give extra motivation?
“The first game was in Glanmire and it was probably one of our worst games of the season, if not the worst game. So we kind of drew a line underneath that,” says Thornton. “We played them a couple of weeks ago and felt fairly ready. We had six or seven straight wins in a row so we felt fairly confident.
“It was a really close game, we were up for the majority of it. And then in the last couple of minutes they just did what Glanmire do and were able to come away with the win. It’s not as if they were two massive losses for us. We’ve definitely gotten better from the first time we played them.
“We’re just hoping to build on what we did a couple of weeks ago.”
The TG4 cameras will be broadcasting the Champions Trophy for the first time and it has added a whole new level of excitement for the players ahead of the game.
“It’s fantastic. It’s brilliant for basketball in this country to have it on this weekend,” says Thornton. “To try and get more viewership and to get more people into the sport. But it gives an extra element to the game to know that you’re on national television.”