Panthers Catch Team Tom McCarthy’s in Dying Minutes

Team Tom McCarthy’s Mia Hopkins nets part of her 26 point haul uncontested during Saturday night’s Garvey’s SuperValu home game against Portlaoise Panthers.

A slow start cost Team Tom McCarthy’s St. Mary’s their Garvey’s SuperValu home game against Portlaoise Panthers on Saturday.

By Liz Galwey PRO

The visitors are currently second placed in the southern conference. They took a 14 point to eight lead in the first quarter of the game.

St. Mary’s had missed some early opportunities but had also played some great defence with Lorraine Scanlon preventing Claire Melia from doing much damage.

Mid Way Through

It was mid way through the quarter before Mia Hopkins registered the first score of the game for the home side.

Team Tom McCarthy’s had a big second quarter, scores from Hopkins, Sarah O’Sullivan, Mary Herlihy and Denise Dunlea and Shauna Ahern ensured that the home side trailed by only a single point at the interval.

Lead for First Time

Claire Melia opened the third quarter for Portlaoise but Hopkins responded with a three and the sides were level for the first time in the game.

Denise Dunlea added another three and Team Tom McCarthy’s took the lead for the first time. Baskets were exchanged for the next few minutes but St. Mary’s were the stronger side for the quarter and led 54 to 45 going into the final 10 minutes.

Reduce the Gap

An early fourth quarter score from Claire Melia saw Portlaoise reduce the gap once again but Siofra O’Shea responded for the home side.

St. Mary’s were playing with intensity now and mid way through the quarter they had increased their lead to 13.

However they were in foul trouble and two unanswered scores and a bonus brought Portlaoise back into it.

In Foul Trouble

The home side lost Lorraine Scanlon to injury with just under two minutes remaining and lost players in foul trouble, seven points separated the sides, Portlaoise defence was stepped up a notch and they drew foul after four from the home team and converted each time from the free throw line. Panthers took the lead by a point with six seconds on the clock and Hopkins had an opportunity to take the lead again through free throws but she failed to convert.

Win for Portlaoise

Sinead Melia and Claire Wheeler for the visitors then hit three from four ensuring a four point win for Portlaoise.

Final Score: Team Tom McCarthy’s St. Mary’s 65 – Portlaoise Panthers 69.

St. Mary’s Team and Scorers: Mia Hopkins, 26; Denise Dunlea, 12; Lorraine Scanlon, 6; Mary Herlihy, 4; Siofra O’Shea, 4; Maebh Barry, 4; Sarah O’Sullivan, 3; Labhaoise Wamsley, Shauna Ahern and Cliona Coffey with two points each.

Portlaoise Panthers Team and Scorers: Sinead Melia, 27; Claire Melia, 12; Ciara Wheeler, 10; Catherine Ashe, 7; Maeve Cahillane, 5; Shauna Dooley, 4; Ciara Byrne, 2; Sharon Melia, 1 and Jamie Sherburne 1.

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