• Apr 30,2016
Sunday May 1st
Ireland 59, SCL Victory Scholars 75

April 30th, 2016
Senior Women's Test Series:
Ireland 63, SCL Victory Scholars 65
Mercy SS Gym, Waterford

Ireland were beaten 65-63 by the SCL Victory Scholars in the second game of their Challenge Series at the Mercy Secondary School Gym in Waterford. 

12 Irish players got on the floor as Mark Scannell continued to consider his options ahead of the FIBA European Championships in June, but the American squad had the stronger fourth quarter to take the game. 

It was a positive first quarter as Ireland impressed with five points each from Sarah Woods, Aoife McDermott and Claire Rockall to move into a 20-16 lead after 16 minutes. It got better again when Grainne Dwyer dominated the second quarter with five baskets in a row for the Irish and Helena Rohan chipping in four points off the bench. 

The Americans were staying in touch. Jazmen Boon and Katie Fox opening the on their home court with Maxol WIT Wildcats and Megan McGuinness was finding the basket as the Scholars trailed 40-32 at half time. 

Baskets were harder to come by in the second half. There was nothing between the sides in the third quarter with Michelle Clarke hitting a couple of three-pointers and Aine O’Connor getting a timely score with Claire Sullivan and Sarah Benedetti keeping things moving for the Victory Scholars. 

Ireland still had an eight-point lead worth defending in the final quarter. Woods scored twice and Danielle O’Leary became Ireland’s 10th scorer on the night but the Victory Scholars were heating up. Lilian McCabe came into the came and Emily Leer took over on offence with eight points in 10 minutes and what proved to be the winning basket as defensive lapses in the final minute proved costly for the Irish. 

One chance remains to see Ireland in action this weekend. The Parochial Hall in Cork hosts their final meeting with the SCL Victory Scholars on Sunday May 1st at 2pm. 

Ireland: Grainne Dwyer 12, Sarah Woods 11, Claire Rockall 9, Aoife McDermott 8, Aine McKenna 3. Substitutes: Michelle Clarke 9, Aine O’Connor 4, Helena Rohan 4, Danielle O’Leary 2, Amy Waters 1, Fionnuala Toner, Emma Sherwood, Stephanie O’Sullivan, Hannah Thornton. 

SCL Victory Scholars: Sarah Benedetti 15, Emily Leer 14, Jazmen Boone 11, Maritta Gilchrease 7, Megan McGuinness 6, Katie Fox 4. Substitutes: Claire Sullivan 4, Lillian McCabe 4. 

HT: Ireland 40, SCL Victory Scholars 32. 

April 23rd, 2016

Senior Women's Test Series:
Ireland 57, SCL Victory Scholars 63
Carroll Arena, Greendale

The Irish Senior Women Squad’s first fixture in seven years proved to be a stern test ahead of the FIBA European Championships as they were edged out 63-57 by the SCL Victory Scholars at the Carroll Arena. The US side did the damage in the third quarter where they executed a full court press to run up a double digit lead which saw do enough to fend off a late rally from Mark Scannell’s side. 

“It’s great to be back and that’s the first thing,” said Ireland’s Head Coach. “We wanted to play the victory scholars because we knew we were going to get good matches. We trained hard before the game and maybe left a little of ourselves on the practise court but we’ve two games left to try and get the win.”

There was nothing between the sides in the opening quarter. Sarah Woods hit the first three-pointer of the game and Aoife McDermott worked well to offset a strong quarter from Women’s Premier League All-Star Jazmen Boone. Wildcats team mate Sarah Deegan got the last basket of the quarter for Ireland who trailed 20-10 after ten minutes. 

Boone went on to take the game high with 20 points but Grainne Dwyer led the scoring for Ireland with 15 and both players were the only ones to score in all four quarters. Claire Rockall kept Ireland in touch to leave them just 32-30 behind at the break. 

Mark Scannell got 12 players on the floor with 10 scoring and 15 points coming from the bench including a couple of baskets from Amy Waters in the third quarter. It was a period that belonged to the victory scholars. With good scoring from Emily Leer and Sarah Benedetti, Ireland were chasing an 11 point game heading into the fourth. 

A sizeable crowd helped them to start reeling in the deficit. Aine McKenna came up with a big triple and some quick transition opened things up for McDermott, Casey Grace and Michelle Clarke. 

With less than two baskets between the sides and three minutes left, a missed layup and some off target free-throws left the Victory Scholars off the hook. 

Scannell felt there was much to take from the game and more for fans to look forward to in the remainder of the series: 

“People will see how challenging these games are going to be. They want to win as much as we do and they have eight or nine top American Division One college players. They way they move and shoot the ball is great preparation for us and a treat to watch for the fans. 

It’s about trying to gel the team now. We’ll be a little further down the road when we play them again in Cork and Waterford next week. 

Ireland: Aine McKenna (9), Sarah Woods (3), Grainne Dwyer (15), Claire Rockall (9), Aoife McDermott (6). Substitutes: Fionnuala Toner (1), Helena Rohan, Sinead Deegan (2), Michelle Clarke (2), Aine O’Connor, Casey Grace (2), Amy Waters (8). 

SCL Victory Scholars: Katie Fox (4), Sarah Benedetti (13), Meghan McGuinness (8), Jazmen Boone (20), Emily Leer (13). Substitutes: Kelly Tyner, Lilian McCabe (3), Marritta Gilcrease (2). 

HT: Ireland 30, SCL Victory Scholars 32. 
Ireland Senior Women’s Squad:
Michelle Clarke (Pyrobel Killester), Sinead Deegan (Maxol WIT Wildcats), Grainne Dwyer (Team Montenotte Hotel), Casey Grace (Team Montenotte Hotel), Sarah Kenny (Team Montenotte Hotel), Aoife McDermott (DCU Mercy), Aine McKenna (Team Montenotte Hotel), Lauren Murray (NUIG Mystics), Aine O'Connor (Courtyard Liffey Celtics), Danielle O'Leary (Singleton SuperValu Brunell), (C) Orla O'Reilly (Embutidos Pajariel Bembibre PDM - ESP), Stephanie O'Sullivan (Keyano Huskies - CAN), Claire Rockall (Team Montenotte Hotel), Helena Rohan (Maxol WIT Wildcats), Clodagh Scannell (Boston Terriers - USA), Jessica Scannell (Keilor Thunder - AUS), Emma Sherwood (Pyrobel Killester), Edel Thornton (Quinnipiac Bobcats - USA), Hannah Thornton (Pyrobel Killester), Fionnuala Toner (DCU Mercy), Amy Waters (Singleton SuperValu Brunell), Sarah Woods (DCU Mercy).

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