• Mar 20,2016
March 20th, 2016

Women’s Premier League Playoff Final
Team Montenotte Hotel 72, DCU Mercy 69
The Watershed Kilkenny

Team Montenotte Hotel fought off DCU Mercy to win 72-69 at the Watershed in Kilkenny and secure the 2016 Women’s Premier League playoffs. In doing so, the Glanmire side moved past Wildcats and UL Huskies to the top of the all-time list with seven wins. 

“It’s game like that that you want to win,” said captain Aine McKenna. “We were six points down and we came back to win by three. It’s unreal.” 

Mercy made a significant move in the third quarter. Aoife McDermott was playing her best game of the season as DCU Mercy used their strength inside to good effect. The Sligo native had 23 points in the first thirty minutes as they build a six-point lead on three separate occasions in the game. 

Mairead McNally was also playing well while Fionnuala Toner won a number of rounds in her running battle with Grainne Dwyer. Dwyer’s cross-over laden full-court drive caught the eye though while Team Montenotte Hotel’s bench outscored Mercy’s 14-9. 

Aine McKenna made the first scoring impact in the game but Sarah Woods wasn’t long warming up as DCU moved into an 11-5 lead. Team Montenotte Hotel set a blistering pace in transition through Dwyer to reply with a 12-0 run capped by Hayley Lenihan. 

Painter had missed her first five attempts as Mercy failed to convert good offensive rebounding into baskets. TMH meanwhile had 12 second-chance points in the first half and levelled the game at 32-32 at the break. 

Team Montenotte Hotel’s intensity reached critical mass in the fourth quarter. Painter and McDermott were restricted to five points down the stretch and Chantell Alford’s fourth three-pointer put seven points between the sides. 

DCU Mercy had finished top of the table for the regular season and were determined to take the game to the wire. There was a chance to level the game with a second remaining but the Dublin side were faced with a swarming defence and and Sarah Woods’ overhead effort fell short. 

“It wasn’t a day for stars, it was a day for dogged defence, hard work and a great team effort,” said Coach Mark Scannell. “This is where we set out our stall and we’ve won our leagues on the last day of the season. There’s girls have been through it all and continued to produce. They batter each other in training every night and when it got down and dirty today we found a way to win.”

DCU Mercy: Sarah Woods 15, Fionnula Toner 2, Aoife McDermott 25, Mairead McNally 9, Chelisa Painter 13. Substitutes: Saoirse Power-Cassidy 3, Meagan Connolly, Emily Black, Enya Brady, Sarah Fitzpatrick, Tia Kelly Stephens 2.
Team Montenotte Hotel: Aine McKenna 9, Claire Rockall 17, Grainne Dwyer 12, Chantell Alford 20, Marie Breen. Substitutes: Amanda O’Regan 2, Eve O’Mahony, Haley Lenihan 2, Casey Grace 8, Lesley Ann Wilkinson, Hanna McCarthy.
HT: DCU Mercy 32, Team Hotel Montenotte 32
MVP: Chantell Alford (Team Montenotte Hotel)

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