RECAP: Ireland U20 Women 46-69 Great Britain
July 08, 2017
FIBA Under 20 Women's European Championship Division B
Saturday, July 8th, 2017
Great Britain: 69
It was a tough opening game for Ireland Under 20 women’s team at the FIBA Under 20 Women’s European Championship Division B in Israel this evening as a monster fourth quarter from Great Britain saw them push the game out of Ireland’s reach to win 69-46.
Indeed, it was a rollercoaster of a journey for the women in green, as a poor start to the game saw them trail their near neighbours by 19 points to 7 at the end of quarter one, with Katie Whelan, Ash McCann and Mae Creane getting on the board for the Irish.
However, a huge second quarter from Ireland saw them outscore Great Britain by 21 points to 6, to lead the quarter 28-25 by the half time buzzer, with a super display from Anna Kelly seeing her net 10 points for Maeve Coleman’s charges.
Great Britain narrowed the gap to just one point almost immediately on the restart, but again, Kelly was on hand to eke out a well-worked jump shot to keep Ireland’s noses in front. Great Britain went on a run though as the clock ticked to the midway mark, and soon opened up a 37-30 point lead, despite the best efforts of Aoife O’Halloran, Ciara Wheeler and Nicole Clancy and they held the advantage going into the last, 42-39.
A huge three-pointer from Anna Kelly with just a few seconds gone off the clock in quarter four tied the game at 42 points apiece, but Great Britain had found their rhythm and got an eight-point run to widen the gap to 50-42. Scores from McCann added to Ireland’s tally, but there was no stopping this GB side, who continued to press and kept Ireland off the scoreboard for the closing five minutes while adding 17 points at the other end to put the result beyond doubt.
Speaking afterwards, Head Coach Maeve Coleman reflected: “We started off slow, the girls were a bit nervous and took a while to settle. We had a strong second quarter, but we just couldn’t maintain that pace. We stayed with them the whole way through the third, but we had too many mistakes in the fourth and we didn’t choose the right shots. I don’t think that they were 23 points better than us, I think the scoreline doesn’t do the girls justice, but we just weren’t efficient enough.
“We’re looking forward to our game against Israel tomorrow, they were beaten by Croatia this evening so there’s big pressure on them to perform against us as the hosts and we are looking forward to that game.”
Ireland continue their FIBA U20 Women's European Championship Division B campaign tomorrow (Sunday, July 9th) at 4.15pm when they tip off against hosts, Israel.
IRELAND: Aisling McCann (7), Alison Cleary, Alison Blaney (2), Anna Brennan (6), Anna Kelly (15), Aoife O'Halloran (3), Chloe Mullins, Ciara Wheeler (7), Katie Whelan (2), Laura Fortune, Mae Creane (3), Nicole Clancy (1).
Ireland U20 Women's squad: http://www.basketballireland.ie/u20women/
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