UL Huskies 69 (33)
Team Montnotte Hotel Cork 59 (31)
MVP Michelle Fahy
With a performance brimming with experience and confidence, defending champions UL Huskies secured the 2013 Women's SuperLeague Cup.
"We are defending champions," UL guard Louise Galvin put it coolly after the final whistle.
"They beat us before Christmas but before that we had a sort of a stranglehold on the league and cup so we had a lot of confidence in ourselves."
Huskies certainly started the game like a team that had been there before. With Rachael Vanderwal pushing the fastbreak and her running mates of Rachel Clancy and Louise Galvin beside her, the women from Limerick exploded out of the blocks and quickly established an 8 to 2 lead.
As the game settled, and with it Team Montenotte, Huskies held their early advantage but couldn't expand it. The champion's greater size was starting to become evident however, with Aoife McDermott the primary beneficiary as she established good positions time and time again close to the basket.
Despite this, Montenotte were never out of reach and the conservative zone defence played by Huskies allowed the challengers to swing the ball and find open shots, Tomica Bacic connected on two of her first three attempts from long range.
With the game finding its rhythm, the early spurt by Huskies was all that separated the teams with UL pounding the ball inside while Montenotte seemed more willing to shoot from deep.
Constantly edging back into the contest, Montenotte's Niamh Dwyer hit a monster three on the buzzer of half time that left the ladies from Cork trailing by just two and firmly in possession of momentum.
The champions composed themselves well at halftime however and came out to start the third quarter as they had the first. Michelle Fahy was without doubt the standout player in this period.
While shooting two from two from the field, she also created with some sublime passing out of the high post, pushing her team into a seven point lead going into the final period.
That gap pretty much remained despite some back and forth between the sides. An alley-oop, converted by Marie Breen did bring Montenotte back to four with 2 minutes remaining as the Montenotte faithful roared on their encouragement from the stands.
A crushing fastbreak layup of the always impressive mobile McDermott soon after proved a nail in the coffin, re-extending the UL lead to six. Huskies would eventually see out the game on a 69 to 59 scoreline.
UL Huskies 69 (33) (R Vanderwal 26, M Fahy 14, R Clancy 13 Team Montenotte Hotel Cork 59 (31) (G Dwyer 20, T Bacic 15, M Breen 10)