RECAP: Two wins from three games for Ireland U16 Women
April 15, 2017
The Ireland Under 16 Women squad travelled to Nottingham, England this week for a series of games against national league and academy under 18 teams.
These games will serve as the final opportunity for the players to demonstrate their skills prior to selection of the 12 players that will represent Ireland in Under 16 European Championships in Macedonia in August.
The Under 16 team have a number of exciting international games in the summer that include the Reze tournament in France featuring such teams as China, Argentina and Turkey, the Dussman tournament in Luxembourg and a trip to Kaunas to play in the Baltic tournament.
U16 Irish Women game reports
Thursday, April 13th
Ireland U16: 108
Nottingham Academy: 15
Ireland Under 16 Women's team's first game of their Nottingham trip saw them run out convincing winners against an under strength Nottingham Academy team. Ireland raced into a 16-0 lead playing full court man-to-man defence midway through the first quarter and the game was effectively over by the end of the first quarter, with Ireland leading 25-0. At this stage, Ireland had withdrawn their man press but persevered with zone variations with the nature of the game enabling them to practice different aspects of their technical plan. Despite the score differential, Ireland played hard throughout the game and never lost their intensity at both ends of the floor.
The whole squad played equal minutes and every player finished on the scoresheet. Well done girls.
IRELAND: Abby Flynn 11, Erin Maguire 11, Katie Walshe 10, Alex Mulligan 10, Sarah Dillon 10, Ciara White 10, Katie Williamson 9, Niamh Kenny 9, Ciaran Bracken 7, Mia Furlong 7, Anna Lynch 4, Lauren Darcy 3, Edel O’Raw 3, Niamh O’Connor 3
Friday, April 14th
Ireland U16: 70
Sheffield Hatter Selection: 78
The second game of the Under 16 trip was a very different affair from the first. The squad travelled up to Sheffield for a closely fought game that was only decided in the last 90 seconds.
Hatters had three U20 players and featured both GB players and England U15/16 squad members. Coaches Gill and Lynch continued the policy of rotating 5 players off every five minutes for the opportunity to experiment with different defences. The first quarter was a high scoring affair with Ireland on top 30-20. Katie Williamson caught the eye with 10 early points and some excellent transition lay-ups across the team. Ireland were able to maintain this lead to half-time with the score 44-36 - Ciara White scoring six points during this period.
However the third and fourth quarters saw Ireland struggle at the offensive end only scoring 28 points and struggling from both the free throw line with far too many easy baskets missed. Ireland's need to maintain their full court defences saw them concede a number of lay-ups but also fall foul with the referees with a foul count differential 30-15.
Ireland did mount a great run coming back from 59-48 down to be down by one early in the fourth after a quick fire six points from Abbey Flynn.
Coach Gill commented: "Sometimes you have to park your competitive spirit and consider the bigger picture which is what we did today. However, our shooting was poor and ability to finish around the basket the main contributor to the loss so we had no complaints in the end. What I would say is that this team are both very integrated and supportive of each other in tough times which bodes well for the summer."
IRELAND: Katie Williamson 17, Ciara Bracken 12, Ciara White 12, Abby Flynn 6, Alex Mulligan 5, Katie Walshe 4, Anna Lynch, Lauren Darcy 3, Sarah Dillon 3, Mia Furlong 3, Edel O’Raw 3, Niamh O’Connor 2, Niamh Kenny 2, Erin Maguire
Saturday 15th April
Ireland U16 82
Nottingham Wildcats 33
Ireland completed their three-game series in Nottingham with a convincing win against Wildcats. The early exchanges were even, with Ireland struggling to contain a quick Wildcats guard. At the end of the first quarter though, Ireland were up 15-10 with Katie Williamson grabbing 6 early points and a number of rebounds. It was in the second half that Ireland's relentless full court defences managed to take a stranglehold in the game and an even spread of scoring saw Anna Lynch, Niamh Kenny, Katie Walshe, Lauren Darcy, Erin Maguire and Ciara White all get on the score sheet to lead at half-time, 35-20.
As the second half progressed, it was clear that Ireland were determined to make up for their loss the day previous. By the end of the third quarter, Sarah Dillon, Mia Furlong, Niamh O’Connor, Abby Flynn, Ciara Bracken and Alex Mulligan all contributed offensively and the defensive intensity never let up. The third quarter finished Ireland 58, Wildcats 25 and as the game drew to a close, a number of steals and traps saw Ireland execute some great transition offence to run out comfortable winners.
Coach Gill stated: "Today's performance was a much better effort albeit, against opposition that were unable to live with our defensive intensity. Once again, everybody had equal court time and we continued to evaluate strategies that we have put in place. The girls have had a great time and continue to represent Ireland abroad with grace and an infectious enthusiasm that should be applauded. Now we have the incredibly difficult task of selecting 12 players to represent us at the European championships."
IRELAND: Ciara Bracken 14, Lauren Darcy 12, Katie Williamson 10, Katie Walshe 9, Anna Lynch 8, Alex Mulligan 8, Niamh Kenny 7, Anny Flynn 4, Mia Furlong 3, Ciara White 2, Erin Maguire 2, Niamh O’Connor 2, Sarah Dillon 1, Edel O’Raw