RECAP: One win and one loss for Ireland U18w in Luxembourg
July 23, 2018
Ireland Under 18 women were in Luxembourg this week to play a two-game international friendly series against the hosts and GB.
Ireland Under 18 Women’s Results
Tuesday, July 24th
Luxembourg 58-53 Ireland Under 18 women
Wednesday, July 25th
Ireland Under 18 women54-43 Great Britain
Ireland Under 18 Women’s Detailed Results
Tuesday, July 24th
Luxembourg : 58
Ireland : 53
Ireland U18 women suffered a tough loss to Luxembourg on Tuesday evening.
A very poor start to the game, saw Ireland on the back foot in the first quarter. While getting some good looks, the ball was not dropping for the Irish in the first quarter, and while defensively they held Luxembourg to just 14 points, Ireland only converted on 10 of their own.
The second quarter was more of the same but a lack of focus while rebounding gave too many second chances to Luxembourg and turnovers were a factor in stopping any offensive rhythm going. At the half, the Luxembourg lead had stretched to nine points, 21-30.
Half time was a turning point for the Irish, as it has been in the last few prep games. Ireland upped their defensive intensity and forced Luxembourg into turnovers and finally began finishing offensively.
Within five minutes, Ireland had taken over control over the scoreboard to lead by a point.
However, that effort told and a lack of attention to detail began to creep back in, with Luxembourg finishing the quarter strong and taking back an 11 point lead going into the fourth.
Ireland got it back to five points in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t do better than that and the game finished 58 -53 in favour of Luxembourg.
Speaking afterwards, Head Coach Patrick O’Neill states: “That was a tough loss to take as I felt we came away from our principles and reverted back to old habits. This is our fifth game in five days and that was a contributing factor, but being able to see who can deal with the mental and physical fatigue is invaluable in helping us get better as a unit. "I felt that we played well for just over 20 minutes and we need to really increase that tomorrow against GB. The team were disappointed that game got away from them, and I expect us to right that tomorrow.”
Wednesday, July 24th
Ireland : 54
Great Britain : 43
Ireland u18 Women concluded their series of six international friendlies against long time rivals GB this evening in a very warm and humid Luxembourg.
An issue carrying forward from previous games has been slow starts, so beginning with full court pressure and high intensity yielded positive results as Ireland took the first seven points of the game. However, GB would not be contained for long, and a quick 6-0 run settled them mid way through the first, to trail by a single point. GB kicked on from there, finding joy on the offensive glass to take an 18-15 lead after the first ten minutes.
Ireland have consistently shown resilience in answering opponents runs though, and the second quarter was no different. A tight affair for the first five minutes - dominated by both defenses - had the teams level at 20-20, but the girls in green found their offensive touch to reward their defensive intensity to outscore GB 9-2, taking a 29-22 lead into the half.
An important third quarter awaited both teams, with Ireland intent on extending their lead, but it would be a trading baskets start for both teams, with seven still between them mid way through.
Offensively led by Dayna Finn and Katie Williamson, Ireland refused to be pushed back as GB looked to regain some ground, and the gap remained seven points heading into the fourth, Ireland leading 40-33.
The final quarter would speak to the character of the Irish team, and they were up for the challenge, outscoring GB 8-2 to take their largest lead of the game, 48-35 with five minutes to play.
The Irish girls continued to stand tall defensively, closing out a well-earned victory 54-43.
Speaking after the game, Head Coach Patrick O’Neill commented: “It was a much improved performance this evening. We addressed a lot of the issues from yesterday and we’re really proud of the focus shown throughout the game today by our ladies.
“This being the sixth game in as many days, we dug deep and executed while fatigued.”
Ireland Under 18 women's team 2018: http://www.basketballireland.ie/u18women/