St. Mary’s U18 girls realised their dream of winning the National Cup last weekend. After almost a year of preparation they faced Glanmire in the final in the National Arena on Friday night. Although Glanmire opened the scoring, St. Mary’s team captain Philomena O’Connor responded with two quick baskets, Glanmire’s Casey Grace equalised but from here in the game was all St. Mary’s. The Castleisland were playing excellently both defensively and offensively. Louise O’Connor, and Danielle McLoughlin joined Philomena O’Connor with baskets while Miriam Leane hit a three to see the Kerry side hold a five point lead at the end of the first quarter.
Glanmire’s Clodagh Scannell opened the second quarter with a three to reduce the gap to two points but Miriam Leane was quick to respond with two of the same and one inside. The gap was further widened with scores from McLouglin, Mary Herlihy, and both O’Connors and despite the best efforts of Scannell, Dennehy and O’Callaghan from Glanmire, St. Mary’s led 42 to 25 at the interval.
Clodahg Scannell and Emily O’Callaghan were the threats on the Cork side but they were expertly held throughout by Danielle McLoughlin and Mary Herlihy. McLoughlin whose defensive play was excellent throughout came into her own in the third quarter and clocked up nine personal points, in addition to this, Miriam Leane who had 11 points and three assists to her credit in the first half, made three from outside the circle to leave Glanmire stunned and trailing by 20 as the side entered the final quarter.
A big three from Danielle McLoughlin pushed the saints further ahead at the start of the final period.  Glanmire put up a great battle in the final period and some steals saw them make 10 points from play and 12 from the free throw line but St. Mary’s kept in touch and held on to a well deserved lead to see them run out deserving winners by 10 points. All in all it was a huge team performance from the St. Mary’s team.
Final Score: St. Mary’s 74    Glanmire 64
St. Mary’s Team: Captain, Philomena O’Connor, Miriam Leane, Danielle McLoughlin, Mary Herlihy, Louise O’Connor, Cliodhna Crowley, Lauren Prendiville, Amber Galwey, Clodagh O’Connor, Maura Conroy.

Jan 2009


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