RECAP: Ireland Senior Women Beat Wales 84-43

RECAP: Ireland Senior Women Beat Wales 84-43

  • Jun 28,2016
Tuesday June 28th, 2016
FIBA European Championship for Small Countries 2016
Group A: Ireland 84, Wales 43
Tercentenary Sports Hall, Gibraltar. 

Ireland’s first Senior International in European Competition since 2009 ended in a win as the Women’s side beat Wales 84-43 in the FIBA European Championship for Small Countries in Gibraltar. 

It wasn’t until the second quarter that Ireland took a firm hold on the game with some players ‘trying a bit too hard’ in the opening exchanges according to Head Coach Mark Scannell. 

“We were a bit raggedy getting used to playing with each other for the first time competitively at that pace in this heat,” he said. “We got everyone on the floor in the first half and the contribution off the bench kept us ticking over.”

Ireland had 33 points in total off the bench, but missed 17 chances in the first half.  16 second-chance points proved the difference in earning a 41-27 lead at the break. 

The Welsh had their moments with back-to-back threes snapping an 8-0 run in the second quarter, before the introduction of Casey Grace helped build momentum on the back of strong scoring from DCU Mercy duo Sarah Woods and Aoife McDermott.

“There were definitely some nerves at the start but now we’re ready to go,” said Grace. “We’re tall but we’re quick so our posts run the floor so we can get the ball over the top.”

Ireland added accuracy to acceleration in the third quarter and with the shooting stats rising from 44% to 57%, a 20-0 run soon followed. Michelle Clarke came in to hit three-pointers and Aine O’Connor’s stunning block led directly to another Sarah Woods fast break. 

Scannell believes a better start to the next game  is paramount with a semi-final berth on the line against Moldova: “We missed opportunities around the ring that we’d normally get. Once the chippies start to fall, we’ll be an awful lot better.”

Ireland: Aine McKenna* (8), Sarah Woods* (19), Claire Rockall* (6), Grainne Dwyer* (6), Aoife McDermott* (12), Casey Grace (10), Amy Waters (8), Danielle O’Leary (7), Michelle Clarke (6), Sinead Deegan (2), Aine O’Connor.

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