Basketball: National Cup Finals Round-up

Men’s SuperLeague National Cup Final;
11890 Killester 57 (35) (J Turner 12, P Kelly 10, P Madsen 9) UCD Marian 60 (28) (J Crowder 17, C Meany 12, N Baynes 10)
MVP; James Crowder (UCD Marian)

UCD Marian produced one of the most memorable upsets of recent years to secure an historic 60-57 victory over 11890 Killester in front of a full house at the National Basketball Arena. It was Marian’s first appearance in a National Cup final, and they grabbed the opportunity with both hands, as they dethroned the reigning champions with a display of belief and fortitude that will live long in the memory.

UCD responded brilliantly to the challenge of a first final appearance and Head Coach Fran Ryan could barely conceal his delight having seen his club crowned as champions for the first time in their history.

“We always believed we could win this,” said Marian Head Coach Fran Ryan. “The more people said we were going to get beaten by ten or twelve, the more we believed we could win this. These guys all trust each other. It’s absolutely amazing.”

Ryan added the team had done plenty of work to prepare mentally for the game. “I have to say a special thanks to Enda McNulty (former Armagh footballer) who did a lot of work to get us ready mentally for today. I thought the way we performed and responded was exceptional.

“It’s difficult to put into words at the moment. There is so much work done in this club, I’m just a co-coordinator really. It’s just great for everyone involved. We’ll have to wait a few days to let it sink in.”

Ryan was also thrilled with the performance of ‘MVP’ James Crowder. “James is a young player who is still learning at this level. He showed his strength today with the way he reacted after coming off the bench.” He stated.

Jermaine Turner got Killester off the mark, but there was an almost instant response from fellow American James Crowder who hit three for UCD. Paul Meany followed up to give UCD an early 6-3 lead. UCD were clearly undaunted in the early stages, taking a 10-3 lead at the midway point of the first. Pete Madsen responded with three for Killester. Michael Higgins continued UCD’s impressive long range shooting with another three as UCD took an unlikely 14-6 lead. Michael Westbrooks hit back with two consecutive scores for Killester to reduce the gap to four. Killester hit back through John Behan to leave UCD with a 17-15 lead at the end of the first.

Killester came out firing in the second, Jermaine Turner giving his side a three point lead from outside. Barry Glover made sure UCD stayed in touch with two impressive scores. Mark Keenan’s side began to disrupt the UCD attack, as Fran Ryan’s charges began to miss shots they had been making with ease in the first quarter. It was looking ominous for UCD, who despite their impressive start, fell behind by ten with two and a half minutes remaining. Conor Meany tried to rally his side, but it was Killester who were looking worthy of their favourites tag with a 35-28 half time lead.

Dan James began the second half in ideal fashion for UCD, to bring the students within five. Killester are not treble champions for nothing however, and responded as champions do, using their strength under the boards to fashion a 41-32 lead. Killester were on course to retain their title, unless UCD coach Fran Ryan could transform the fortunes of his side. Crowder hit back-to-back three pointers for UCD as Ryan’s timeout talk began to pay dividends. UCD were still in with a shout heading into the final quarter, trailing (52-42).

The final quarter will go down in Irish Basketball folklore as one of the most dramatic ever. UCD slowly got to within range thanks to some excellent shooting from Crowder, Conor Meany, and Dan James. Killester had Isaac Westbrooks fouled out and conceded their quota of team fouls. This allowed UCD to go to the line twice in a row and hand UCD the most incredible three point lead. Killester tried a shot on the buzzer, but it was to be UCD’s day. Final score in a pulsating cup final, (UCD Marian 60 – 11890 Killester 57)

Women’s SuperLeague National Cup Final;
Team Montenotte Hotel Cork 47 (29) (C Scannell 14, G Dwyer 11, C Rockall 10) DCU Mercy 61 (28) (S Maguire 22, L Peat 13, S O’Connor

MVP; Suzanne Maguire (DCU Mercy)

DCU Mercy Head Coach, Mark Ingle, hailed a ‘team effort’ as his side earned successive National Cup titles at the expense of Team Montenotte Hotel Cork on a scoreline of 61-47 in front of a sell out crowd at the National Basketball Arena on Sunday.

The Dubliners collected their first National Cup last January when they defeated Montenotte and they inflicted more misery on the Cork outfit, greatly helped by an ‘MVP’ display from Suzanne Maguire.

“For twelve years people have been expecting her to play like that,” said Mercy Head Coach Mark Ingle. “Everyone knows she can. She has had some disappointing performances in finals over the years’, but today she was brilliant and we’re delighted for her.”

The third quarter provided Mercy with plenty to worry about, as his side failed to score in the opening eight minutes. However, the coach was full of praise for his side’s response. “I was praying some of our shots would drop in the third quarter,” added Ingle. “I’ve been telling the girls all year, especially the ones on the bench that they had to be ready when called upon. Today we needed them to be in the third because our starting five weren’t firing. They got us through it. I’m delighted that it was such a team effort.”

DCU Mercy began like a side determined to retain their title, with a fine opening quarter which seemed to catch Team Montennotte off guard. Mark Scannell’s side were surprisingly slow out of the blocks, with DCU’s Lindsey Peat predictably carrying the fight for DCU. It wasn’t to stay that way for long however, Montenotte blasting back thanks to the dynamic work of Clare Rockall and shooting from Clodagh Scannell in the second. Rockall quickly began to assert herself on proceedings, and added a verve to her side’s play that had been absent in the opening stages. Grainne Dwyer got on the end of a Rockall pass to convert just before the buzzer, to give her side the lead for the first time in the game. (29-28) to Montenotte at half time.

The second quarter was a very low scoring affair, and Mark Ingle will be grateful for the shooting prowess displayed by Shauna O’Connor and Suzanne Maguire, who shot back-to back three pointers to level the game. (34-34)

Maguire’s influence was growing by the minute for DCU, as the game began to swing towards DCU. Grainne Dwyer did her best to keep Montenotte in range. Christaina Newton made it an eight point game with four to go. Mercy were comfortable in the final minutes, extending their lead through Peat and the irrepressible Maguire. The game finished (61-47) as DCU piled more cup agony on Mark Scannell’s side.

Montenotte coach Mark Scannell was clearly disappointed with the defeat, believing his side were capable of performing much better. “I don’t want to make excuses, but that wasn’t us that showed up today,” he said. “Too many things were wrong with our game. They did a good job on Clare and things just didn’t click with our players. Defensively we were poor. Suzanne Maguire got too many rebounds from us. But credit Mercy, they played very well on the day.

Sunday, January 30th

Women’s SuperLeague National Cup Final;
Team Montenotte Hotel Cork 47 (29) (C Scannell 14, G Dwyer 11, C Rockall 10) DCU Mercy 61 (28) (S Maguire 22, L Peat 13, S O’Connor
MVP; Suzanne Maguire (DCU Mercy)

Men’s SuperLeague National Cup Final;
11890 Killester 57 (35) (J Turner 12, P Kelly 10, P Madsen 9) UCD Marian 60 (28) (J Crowder 17, C Meany 12, N Baynes 10)
MVP; James Crowder (UCD Marian)

Saturday, January 29th 2011

Senior Women’s National Cup Final;

Ulster Rockets 72 (40) (N Lennon 17, F Toner 15, M Houlihan 13) UL 46 (22) (C McCarthy 17, A Danaher 11, A O’ Malley 7)
MVP; Noleen Lennon (Ulster Rockets)

Senior Men’s National Cup Final;

Team Garvey’s St. Mary’s 63 (31) (J Galvin 20, D Wall 10, R O’Rahilly 7) CHM Ballon 71 (34) (A Statkus 22, Tamasauskas 14, Vladas Ignatavicius 12)
MVP; Aurimas Statkus (CHM Ballon)

U20 Women’s National Cup Final;

Tralee Imperials 64 (37) (E Sherwood 24, S Makessey 17, L Brennan Waterford Wildcats 50 (25) (S O’Shea 11, S Deegan 8, C Murphy
MVP; Emma Sherwood (Tralee Imperials)

U20 Men’s National Cup Final;

Maree 66 (34) (L Conway 17, C Crowley 15, C O’Hagan 15) UCC Demons 64 (35) (S Buckley 23, J Carmody 14, P Lucey 10)
MVP; Con Crowley (Maree)

Friday January 28th

U18 Women’s National Cup Final;

Glanmire 69 (35) (C Scannell 27, L Murphy 13, C Corcoran 11) Claregalway 36 (23) (C Newell14, H Moran 8, A Rohan 6)
MVP; Clodagh Scannell (Glanmire)

U18 Men’s National Cup Final;

Templeogue 69 (32) (N Lynch 24, E O’Connor 18, L Thompson 11) Tolka Rovers 60 (35) (P Curran 17, D O’Leary 13, M Blanchfield 7)
MVP; Eoghan O’Connor (Templeogue)


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