FIXTURES & RESULTS: Ireland U18 women v Luxembourg
This weekend sees the Ireland U18 women host Luxembourg in a three-game series in Gormanston Park, Co. Meath.
This starts the final prep for the team after the final twelve were announced last month.
Head coach Tommy O’Mahony looked ahead to the weekend stating: “We are very eager to get started into our summer program, this is the start of a busy six weeks for this team. This three-game series against Luxembourg will prove to be very beneficial to us.”
With the first game tipping at 7:30pm in Gormanston on Friday, all support is welcome and donations will be accepted at the door.
Ireland U18 Women's Results
Game 1 - Friday, June 7th
Ireland 53-56 Luxembourg
Game 2 - Saturday, June 8th
Ireland 46-36 Luxembourg
Game 3 - Sunday, June 9th
Ireland 67-54 Luxembourg
Ireland U18 Women's Detailed Results
Sunday, June 9th
The Ireland U18 Women closed out their three game series against Luxembourg with all players getting on the score sheet in a hard fought 67-54 victory in Gormanston today. The girls in green got off to the perfect start with Ciara Byrne scoring 9 quick points in transition. Although it was an early start, the defensive intensity was there right from the beginning, with Mia Furlong coming up with numerous steals and deflections, allowing Ireland to get out and run. Erin Maguire came in and immediately impacted the game by knocking down a big 3. This was followed up by Katie Walshe doing the exact same thing. The Irish girls were flying and in the closing moments, Siofra O’Shea did her best Klay Thompson impression, coming off a pin-down on the right hand side, caught the ball, rose up and drained a 3rd consecutive 3 for the Irish team, giving the girls a 23-16 lead heading into the 2nd quarter.
The 2nd quarter was saw Ireland up the level defensively, holding Luxembourg to a single made field goal the entire quarter. However, some over-exuberance led to some cheap fouls and allowed them 8 points from the free throw line. The games top scorer, Debbie Ogayemi really started to make her mark on the game, dominating the offensive boards (as she did most of the weekend).This led to multiple second chance opportunities for her and her teammates and sent Ireland in at the half, leading 39-26.
Luxembourg made a really bright start to the second half, scoring consistently off penetration and offensive rebounds. Ireland began to stutter a little as Luxembourg’s relentless full court pressure paid dividend once or twice. With the lead cut to 5, Ciara Tolan came up with 4 quick points inside and once again Debbie Ogayemi, dominated the Luxembourg team on the boards, scoring 7 points in the quarter in the process.
Heading into the 4th, the Irish lead was 11 and it was all to play for. Coach O’Mahoney made a tactical change and went with a smaller lineup, including Lauren Darcy and Abby Flynn. After a quick 4 points from Luxembourg, Darcy caught fire and came down and hit the first of what would be three huge 3’s for her in the quarter. With Flynn constantly pushing the pace in transition, drawing help and finding open shooters, Ireland again extended their lead. It was a lead they wouldn’t let go of, as they clamped down on defence once more, through the brilliant display of Mia Furlong, keeping Luxembourg out of the middle and limiting them to one attempt at a time.
An excellent weekend for the Irish girls, getting better with each performance. They travel to Portugal in10 days’ time for more warm up games against Portugal and Israel.
Team and scorers: Abby Flynn (5), Siofra O’Shea (3), Mia Furlong (10), Ciara Tolan (5), Katie Walshe (5), Erin Maguire (3), Ciara Byrne (9), Debbie Ogayemi (14), Lauren Darcy (13)
Saturday, June 8th
Ireland Under 18s came out on the right side of a gutsy performance against Luxembourg this evening. In a game where scores were coming at a premium, Irelands excellent defence paved the way for a vital win and sets up a series decider against the same opposition tomorrow morning. The first quarter started well for the home side with baskets from Katie Walshe and Debbie Ogayemi. Their aggressive defence allowed fast break opportunities to be created and Siofra O Shea and Ciara Byrne duly obliged which opened up an early lead. To their credit they kept Luxembourg to a single field goal in the entire quarter, with all their other scores coming from the free throw line. The score at the end of the first quarter was 13-6 in Irelands favour. The second quarter followed a similar pattern with Katie Williamson and Abby Flynn providing vital offence to compliment terrific defensive work from Niamh Kenny and Erin Maguire. The half time score had Ireland in a 25-12 lead.
To their credit the visitors came out in the third quarter with more aggression and scores were very tough to find. Mia Furlong hit a purple patch with with 5 quick points in succession. The visitors pushed hard with some great work from Kim Sona with two "And 1" plays to bring the hosts closer with 3 minutes to go in the quarter. Ireland dug deep again and showed great resolve with Ciara Tolan running the floor really hard and Lauren Darcy controlling the tempo of the game from the point. Going in to the last quarter the score read 37-21. Luxemburg pushed hard in the final quarter but the foundations for the win had been set and Ireland saw the last few minutes of the game out in a controlled fashion.
Team and Scorers: Abby Flynn (9), Siofra O'Shea (4), Mia Furlong (9), Niamh Kenny (5), Ciara Tolan (2), Katie Walshe (6), Alex Mulligan , Katie Williamson (2), Erin Maguire, Ciara Byrne (2), Debbie Ogayemi (9), Lauren Darcy
Friday, June 7th
Ireland Under 18 women fell to a narrow defeat in their first warm up game for this summers European Championships. They came up against a solid Luxembourg outfit but showed signs of promise and will look forward to two more games against the same opposition in the coming days. The game started off at a fast pace with Debbie Ogayemi and Katie Walshe opening the scoring for home side. Luxembourg to their credit shot the ball very well with three pointers from Sofie Olsen and Kim Sowa left the score at 10 – 7 half way through the first quarter. The home side were attacking the basket strong and getting to the free throw line with Lauren Darcy and Ciara Tolan both making the opposition pay for their early fouls. Joy Bahm hit another three for Luxembourg leaving the score at the end of the first quarter 21-17 in favour of the visitors.
The second quarter was a much cagier affair. Alex Mulligan opened up her account with a fantastic reverse lay up. For Luxembourg Margane Scoilet hit two three pointers to extend the visitors lead at half time to six points 32-26. It was in the third quarter where Ireland really hit a purple patch. Their intensity really upped and this lead to some great fast break scores. Katie Williamson and Mia Furlong started off a scoring run which saw Ireland claw their way back in to the game. Excellent defence from Abby Flynn and Niamh Kenny were putting the away side under pressure and Siofra O Shea was able to capitalise with two great finishes on the fast break. By the end of the third Ireland had pushed in to the lead on a score of 46-39.
The last quarter was quite like the second with both sides trying desperately to gain an advantage. Laurie Irthum brought Luxembourg back to within a point. Ciara Byrne hit a big basket to push the home side back ahead. Erin Maguire showed great defensive pressure to ensure the scores were close entering the final minutes. Again it was Luxembourgs’ outside threat that hurt the home side as they rattled in three three pointers in the final stages of the game. Ireland were unlucky to just lose out on a score line of 56-53. In all a good performance with plenty to work on in the coming two games. The two teams go head to head again in Gormanston tomorrow evening at 7.30pm in what is sure to be another craker.
Team and scorers: Abby Flynn (7), Siofra O Shea (5), Mia Furlong (2), Niamh Kenny, Ciara Tolan (6), Katie Walshe (12), Alex Mulligan (2), Katie Williamson (2), Erin Maguire, Ciara Byrne (2), Debbie Ogayemi (11), Lauren Darcy (4)
The Ireland Under 18 women will contest the FIBA U18 Women’s European Championship Division B in Skopje from July 5-14th, 2019. You can view the official event website here: http://www.fiba.basketball/
You can view the final team list here: https://www.basketballireland.