DAY ONE: Hosts Belarus prove too tough for Ireland U16s

DAY ONE: Hosts Belarus prove too tough for Ireland U16s

  • Dec 03,2016

Ireland Under 16 Men’s and Women’s teams were in action in the first day of the tournament in Belarus on Friday, with both teams meeting the host nation in the opening game.

Ireland U16 Women's report:

Belarus 86

Ireland 59

Ireland Women opened their tournament with a defeat following a hard-fought battle against the hosts Belarus.

Ireland had an incredible start with their full court press disrupting Belarus and raced into an 11-0 lead with scores from Mulligan, Walshe, Kenny and Flynn forcing Belarus to call a time out.

As the quarter progressed Belarus’ size and shooting efficiency wore Ireland down with the first quarter ending 24-21 to Ireland.

The second quarter did the damage to Ireland’s aspirations when Belarus switched to a 2-3 match up zone which changed the tide of the match. Ireland were outscored 28-8 and were unable to score for long periods giving Belarus a half time lead of 49-32.

However Ireland rallied in the second half and a change to a 1-3-1 zone and some great scoring from team captain Ciara Bracken (12) supported by Nolan (10) and White (7) meant that the eventual margin was cut to 20 at one point. Both McCarthy and Morrissey came on to good effect with Lynch providing defensive intensity.

Head Coach Andy Gill commented: “For 3 quarters of the game we competed with a top 8 European team and that is very pleasing. However their superior size and ability to penetrate into the paint eventually broke us down. The key now is to prepare to play a very good Polish team.”

Scorers: Bracken 12, Nolan 10, Walshe 7, White 7, Mulligan 6, Lynch 5, Morrissey 4, Kenny 4, McCarthy 0

Ireland Under 16 Men's report:

Belarus 74

Ireland 55

Ireland Under 16 boys fell to a 74-55 defeat in the opening game of the Ryzhenkov Cup in Minsk. Ireland traded baskets early before several turnovers gifted Belarus a 25-14 opening quarter lead. 

Despite holding the home team scoreless for six minutes in the second quarter and closing the gap to 31-26, Belarus finished on an 8-0 run and entered half time leading 39-26.

Paul Kelly shone in the second half, finishing with 14 points and 5 rebounds, but the damage - due to multiple Ireland turnovers - left its mark and the lead grew to 43-26.

Sanmi Fajana battled hard in the paint to secure 11 rebounds and 3 blocked shots, while David Lehane and Matthew Harper each contributed 4 assists. 

Ireland return to action Saturday to take on Poland.

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