Day 1: Two tough games in Girona for Ireland U18 Women
November 01, 2016
Monday, October 31st, was a busy day for the Irish Under 18 womenâs team as they flew to Girona, Spain for the start of a four-day tournament.
After landing in Girona mid-afternoon, the squad geared up for their first game of the tournament against Spar Citylift Uni Gironaâs senior team.
Spar CityLift Uni Girona: 48
Ireland Under 18s: 46
The game started off slowly, with both teams struggling to find their range. Scores from Sorcha Tiernan, Maggie Byrne and Sarah Livisey for Ireland began to ignite the pace of the game, and it was neck-in-neck going in at half time with the Spanish side leading 26-22.
The home side kicked off the second half with a full court press defence, putting the Irish team under immense pressure, but Enya Maguire and Alison Blaney stepped up to the challenge and soon had the Irish settled once more.
The inside presence of Maeve OâSeaghdha, Niamh Masterson and Ella McCloskey was causing the Spanish outfit some problems and it allowed the Irish team to stay in touch. It was nip and tuck for the next quarter with both sides trading baskets and Rachel Huijdsens did very well on the break. Coming into the final quarter, there was just the bare minimum between the sides, with Saoirse Kelly making a big contribution after returning from injury. Despite good play from Mae Creane and Sorcha Tiernan, the Spanish side ran out winners by just one basket, 48-46.
Team: Sarah Livisey, Sorcha Tiernan, Saoirse Kelly, Mae Creane, Niamh Masterson, Maggie Byrne, Rachel Huijdsens, Ella McCloskey, Maeve OâSeaghdha, Enya Maguire, Alison Blaney.
BC Fontajau: 36
Ireland Under 18s: 77
The next game up on Monday evening saw Ireland take on BC Fontajauâs senior team. Ireland were quick out of the blocks with scores from Claire Melia and Amy Dooley. They ran into an 8-0 lead in the first three minutes due to some intense defence and some great fast break baskets.
The pace started to drop though and soon the Spanish outfit found their feet and the quarter finished on 13 points each. The next quarter saw Niamh Foley and Ciara Broderick start to get the grips of the Spanish attack and were able to punish their sloppy passes with easy scorers at the other end. Dayna Finn and Maeve Phelen also made a telling contribution as their high tempo defence caused all sort of problems for the opposition, to send Ireland into a 21-37 point lead at half time.
The Irish came out with a press defence in the second, and through Annaliese Murphy and Bronagh Power Cassidy, they were able to capitalize and score some more great baskets for the visitors.
Ireland never gave up and kept the pace high throughout the second half, and Amy Murphy, Jayne Fitzgerald and Maeve Phelan helped to put them out of sight on the scoreboard to run out 36-77 point winners.
Team: Ciara Broderick, Maeve Phelan, Amy Dooley, Claire Melia, Amy Murphy, Jayne Fitzgerald, Bronagh Power Cassidy, Dayna Finn, Niamh Foley, Annaliese Murphy.