RECAP: 2016 Women's Division One Playoff Final
March 19, 2016
March 19th, 2016
Womenâs Division One Playoff Final:
NUIG Mystics 79, Fr Mathews 61
The Watershed, Kilkenny
NUIG Mystics pulled off a historic treble with victory in the Basketball Ireland Womenâs Division One Playoffs at the Watershed, Kilkenny. The 79-61 win over Fr Mathews of Cork added further silverware to a Senior Womenâs National Cup and regular season league title. They capped off the campaign with another dominant performance, albeit against a doughty Fr Mathews side.
âAbsolutely savage to be honest with you,â said winning coach Mike Murray. âItâs unreal. I have to say, beyond my expectations without a doubt and again credit to all of them because theyâve done the job all year long â they really have. Just a great bunch.â
Mathews struggled to settle in the first quarter making only two of sixteen field goal attempts and while NUIG Mystics were shooting at 50%, the three-pointers of Siobhan Kilkenny imposed an early 14 point lead.
Just when Mathews were generating momentum, Ailish OâReilly fired off a three-pointer on the buzzer as a statement of authority. The young point guard only attempted three perimeter shots in the game but was successful with each one at a time when Mathews threatened to make a comeback.
There was still little to separate the sides in the second quarter with both breaking the 20-point mark in ten minutes. Dearbhla Breen and Louise OâConnor finished the game with double-doubles and scored well as Mathews looked to narrow the cap. For Mystics, Lauren Murray gave a captainâs example in keeping turnovers to a minimum and being one of four players to shoot at 100% from the free-throw line.
Mystics were 43-29 clear at half-time but Mathews hung in there for the third period.
âDerval OâBriain was superb again tonight,â said Fr Mathews Coach James Fleming. âFiona Lynch and Louise OâConnor too â and we ran a ten player rotation for the whole game, so weâre proud. While weâre not happy, weâre proud of where weâve come from.â
Fiona Lynch checking back in for a rousing three-pointer but Mysticsâ quality was undeniable. Michelle Fahy held her own in what was a physical encounter and Catherine Connaire picked off any open shots that came her way.
Fr Mathews managed to shade the final quarter even though their never-say-die attitude was matched by the intensity of a Mystics side getting ready for life the Premier League. OâReilly and Kilkenny combined for 10 assists from the guard spots with OâReilly finishing with the MVP and a game-high 23 points.
âWhen you get that far, you donât want to stop,â said OâReilly. âThe Cup and the League were the main aim, so this is an extra bonus and weâre absolutely delighted.â
Fiona Lynch typified Fr Mathewâs attitude at the final buzzer: âWhen you get that far, you donât want to stop. The Cup and the League were the main aim, so this is an extra bonus and weâre absolutely delighted.â
NUIG Mystics: Ailish OâReilly 23, Michelle Fahy 16, Siobhan Kilkenny 19, Lauren Murray 6, Marritta Gilcrease 2. Substitutes: Rachael Gaffney, Emer Smyth, Deirdre OâShea, Aoibhin OâNeil, Sarah Grealish, Leah Cunningham, Rebecca Hansberry, Hannah Coen, Suzanne McDonagh, Catherine Connaire 13
Fr Mathewâs: Mai OâLeary 4, Fiona Lynch 17, Dearbhla Breen 16, Kathryn Canty 4, Louise OâConnor 14. Substitutes: Tara Brosnan, Niamh Foley, Sinead Gee, Susanne Large, Kellie Cahalane 6, Rachel Finn, Rachel Furlong, Stephanie Morgan, Carolyn OâMahony
HT: NUIG Mystics 43, Fr Mathews 29
MVP: Ailish OâReilly
BOX SCORE: http://bit.ly/2016-BIWD1
STREAM URL: https://youtu.be/xdJMdfIpGFg