"This is just as sweet as the first time," said Gráinne Dwyer, named most valuable player in the Women's National Cup final as her side Ambassador UCC Glanmire secured their fourth cup title in a row on Sunday evening with an impressive 61-48 point win over Courtyard Liffey Celtics. "It's a bit surreal. I'm emotional about it. I thought it was amazing four years ago, but this is just as sweet."
A Glanmire team packed full of experienced players – including Dwyer, Aine McKenna, Claire Rockall and Chantell Alford, to name but a few – drove on to victory in style in front of a large crowd at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght.
A dominant opening few minutes immediately laid down the challenge to Liffey Celtics, Glanmire storming into a 9-0 lead. The rattled Celtics quickly regrouped, though, and soon it was game on thanks to a fantastic score by Sorcha Tiernan off the bench.
But despite the hard work of the Kildare team, experience told, and Glanmire’s defence comfortably restricted Celtics to 48 points to close out the game.
COURTYARD LIFFEY CELTICS: Jazmen Boone (11 points), Emma O'Connor (22), Anna Pupin (two), Laura Fortune, Chloe Mullins, Sorcha Tiernan (seven), Karen Mealey, Ciara Wheeler, Aoife Tiernan, Megan Howe, Ailbhe O'Connor, Aine O'Connor (six), Erin Bracken.
AMBASSADOR UCC GLANMIRE: Aine McKenna (11), Lesley-Ann Wilkinson, Casey Grace (eight), Claire Rockall (12), Hayley Lenihan, Gráinne Dwyer (16), Chantell Alford (12), Olivia Dupuy, Hannah McCarthy (two), Jayne Fitzgerald, Louise Scannell, Annaliese Murphy, Katy Keating.