First Loss of the Season for Team Tom McCarthy’s

St. Mary’s Tom McCarthy’s joint captains and top scorers, Denise Dunlea (left) with 13 points and Lorraine Scanlon with 15. Photograph: Liz Galwey

Team Tom McCarthy’s suffered a loss at the weekend when they hosted Portlaoise Panthers in a Garvey’s SuperValu home game.

By: Liz Galwey, PRO

As expected it was a close game with little more than the minimum separating the sides for the most part.

However, it was a low scoring game during which both sides missed a lot of opportunities and had a lot of turnovers.

Early Scores for the Midlanders

Team Tom McCarthy’s opened the scoring but Panthers Gillian Wheeler and Trudy Walker hit early scores to see the midlands side go ahead.

Scores from Loreta Maher and Lorraine Scanlon and a three from Denise Dunlea levelled the game as the clock ran down and Maebh Barry was good for two from the line to give the St. Mary’s side a two point advantage at the end of the first.

The second quarter was low scoring. The first score of the quarter coming four minutes in from Portlaoise’s Ciara Byrne.

Blocks and Steals

Both Emma Sherwood and Denise Dunlea had some great blocks and steals and the lead alternated several times during the quarter.

A steal by Denise Dunlea with 50 seconds remaining on the clock saw her put the home side ahead by two.

But Ciara Byrne drove to the board as the clock ran down to level the game at 24 points apiece at the half time interval.

Good defence in the early part of the third prevented both sides from registering scores but as the quarter progressed Panthers reclaimed the lead and pushed ahead.

O’Shea and Scanlon Strong

Both Siofra O’Shea and and Lorraine Scanlon were strong for the Castleisland side but Jasmine Burke was registering score after score for Portlaoise who held a 10 point lead going into the final quarter.

A strong opening from Lorraine Scanlon in the final quarter saw the gap reduced to six points but a lot of opportunities were being left behind.

Five Ahead at the Buzzer

With just 56 seconds Denise Dunlea hit a three and followed this up with a basket to leave just three points between the sides with 39 seconds remaining but Panthers were sent to the line twice. Accuracy from Ciara Byrne and Sarah Fleming saw them finish the game five points ahead.

Final Score: Team Tom McCarthy’s 45 – Portlaoise Panthers 50.

Team Tom McCarthy’s

Lorraine Scanlon, 15; Denise Dunlea, 13; Deirdre Geaney, 5; Loretta Maher, 5; Maebh Barry, Siofra O’Shea and Labhaoise Walmsley 2 each; Emma Sherwood 1.

Portlaoise Panthers

Trudy Walker, 11; Jasmine Burke, 11; Ciara Byrne, 8; Gillian Wheeler, 7; Grainne O’Reilly and Ciara Wheeler 6 each and Sarah Fleming 1.