St. Mary’s Ladies in High Noon National Cup Final

St. Mary's Captain, Aoife Nolan and Coach Liam Culloty will lead their team to into the NICC National Cup Final in Dublin on January 28th ©Photographs: John Reidy

St. Mary’s Captain, Aoife Nolan and Coach Liam Culloty will lead their team to into the NICC National Cup Final against Killester in Tallaght on Sunday, January 28th. ©Photographs: John Reidy

A spectacular team performance by St. Mary’s senior ladies has ensured them a place in the NICC women’s cup final at the end of this month.

By Liz Galwey PRO

It was announced on Tuesday that the Hula Hoops NICC Women’s National Cup Final between Killester and St Mary’s Castleisland would be played in Session 4 on Sunday, January 28th. at 12noon in the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght.

Aoife’s Rapid Response

The Castleisland girls took on a strong Maree side at Neptune stadium on Saturday last. Maree won the tip and Sacra Mannion secured the first score of the game but Mary’s team captain Aoife Nolan was quick to respond.

Maree’s Carol McCarthy hit her first of four threes on the day but again St. Mary’s pushed ahead with a Scanlon free throw and a rebound from Denise Dunlea which she converted.

Mary and Eileen on Target

Maree failed to make scores for several minutes while Mary Herlihy and Eileen O’Connor hit threes. St. Mary’s defence was impeccable and denied Maree any second chances and resulting in a 13 point lead at the end of the first quarter.

Maree were more focused in the early part of the second period.

Orla White’s Basket

McCarthy opened with a three, McInerney and Fahy added two more baskets reducing the gap to six points inside the first minute. An Orla White basket put St. Mary’s back on track and they stepped up their defence once again. Mid way through they had increased the lead to 11 points. McCarthy made was accurate from the line to narrow it again but Aoife Nolan respond by converting from a fast break.

Focused and Accurate

Both sides turned over possession as the clock ran down and a foul sent Sacra Mannion to the line for Maree, she made both leaving the half time score at 39 points to 30 in favour of a very focused and accurate St. Mary’s.

St. Mary’s had a strong opening in the third, Eileen O’Connor hit a three.

A steal set Mary Herlihy up for a basket and once again the Galway side were playing catch up.

Fast Break by Denise Dunlea

McCarthy hit their first score of the quarter three minutes in and Fahy added another but a fast break from Denise Dunlea kept St. Mary’s comfortably ahead. The sides exchanged scores as the quarter progressed. St. Mary’s used the clock well. Nine points separated the sides with less than three minutes to go when Sarah O’Sullivan hit her first score of the game for the Castleisland girls.

Mary Herlihy’s Late Score

Maree’s Carol McCarthy continued to be the main threat, she hit five points as the clock ran down reducing the gap to six points but a late score from Mary Herlihy gave St. Mary’s an eight advantage going into the final quarter.

It was Maree’s Carol McCarthy who opened the final quarter, her personal tally for the game was a massive 29 points, however, Aoife Nolan, Sarah O’Sullivan and Denise Dunlea all registered scores to put their side up 13 points.

Saints Playing Brilliantly

Maree brought it back to 11 but this was as close as they came from here on. St. Mary’s were still playing brilliantly in defence and were by far the stronger side on the day. They increased their lead as the quarter progressed and with two minutes remaining they led by 16 points, this gave coach Liam Culloty an opportunity to run his full bench.

Final score: St. Mary’s 67 – Maree 51

Scorers for St. Mary’s: Eileen O’Connor and Mary Herlihy 13 each, Denise Dunlea and Aoife Nolan 12 each, Lorraine Scanlon 9, Sarah O’Sullivan 4, Orla White and Emma Dinneen 2 each.

Results and Fixtures
U18 boys cup St. Mary’s 65 – Gneeveguilla 50
NICC women’s cup St. Mary’s 67 – Maree 51

Fixtures
January 11th.
U-16 boys cup Division 1 St. Mary’s v Gneeveguilla 8pm Castleisland.
Senior women’s div 2 cup St. Mary’s v KCYMS at 8pm in Castleisland.
January 12th
U-18 girls cup St. Mary’s v Team Kerry at 7pm in Castleisland.
January 13th.
U-13 girls Community games.
U-16 boys Division 3 plate Glenbeigh Falcons V St. Mary’s 3.30pm in Glenbeigh.
U-12 boys Division 3 plate St. Mary’s v Vixens in CCC 6pm.
U-14 boys Division 3 St. Mary’s v Vixens in CCC at 7pm.
Jan 14th
U-13 boys community games.
Senior men Division 2 KCYMS v St. Mary’s 4.30 in Killorglin.

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