/ Basketball

St Pauls and Thunder claim titles

Updated: Saturday, 28 Jan 2012 22:32

Scruffys St Pauls celebrate their victory
Scruffys St Pauls celebrate their victory

Women’s National Cup Final

Tralee Imperials 36- 51 Scruffys St Pauls

St Pauls’ inflicted further woe on Tralee Imperials when they overcame the challenge of their Kingdom rivals 51-36 to claim the Basketball Ireland Senior Women’s National Cup.

It was cruel on the Tralee club, who suffered defeats in all three of their National Cup final appearances on Saturday.

Sinead Mackessy registered the first four points on the board for Tralee Imperials but Lynn Jones got St Pauls on the scoreboard with a baseline Jump shot.

Tralee’s Emma Gallagher added to her side’s good start with a three. The Imperials raced into a 10-2 lead and this forced St Pauls to switch up their defence from man to man to a two three zone after four minutes.

It was all one way traffic in this quarter with Tralee causing problems both inside the key and outside with precision shooting and they lead 16-5 at the end of the first quarter.

St Pauls were desperate to bounce back after a disappointing opening spell and signalled their intent with Catriona O’Connell converting five points in quick succession.

After four minutes of play, Pauls had fought back to just five points in arrears. A hugely productive spell for Pauls saw them come within three points of their Kerry rivals by half time.

The revival was complete for St Pauls when they edged in front for the first time courtesy of Muiriosa Galwey.

In a low scoring quarter, Maeve Barry was successful from the free throw to keep Tralee in close pursuit, while further conversion from the free throw line saw the sides finish the third quarter on level terms. (34-34)

A jump shot off the glass signalled the first score of the final quarter in favour of the St Pauls, and they soon extended their advantage to 40-36 with just over five minutes left on the clock.

A tense closing saw Lynn Jones strike a huge three to extend Pauls advantage and it was to prove telling as Imperials found no way back.

Men's National Cup Final

Dublin Thunder 87-45 UCD Marian

Dublin Thunder claimed the Senior Men’s National Cup on Friday evening as they earned an 87-45 win over UCD Marian.

‘MVP’ Derrick Courtney played a huge part in the win, with a double double which made the Thunder’s inside presence count.

Gary Edge was to the fore in the early stages, with three three’s helping UCD Marian to a surprise 11-3 lead early on.

Thunder refused to panic and reduced the deficit through Puff Summers to five points.

Thunder soon found their rhythm and took the lead for the first time with a basket from Derrick Courtney before a three on the buzzer from former Killester star Michael Goj ensured a 23-17 lead for Dave Baker’s side.

Thunder maintained their good form in the second quarter, quickly establishing a 12-point lead with Goj and Courtney to the fore.

The signs were looking ominous for UCD Marian as Thunder continued to dominate.

By the time Glen Wong converted another three, the lead had stretched to 44-21.

UCD struggled offensively in this quarter, managing just five points and had it all to do after the interval, trailing 48-22.

Ian Monk provided some brief respite for UCD at the start of the second half but Thunder responded with a score on the inside through Conor Gallagher, which was followed up with two fast breaks from Sean Kilmartin.

Marian refused to lie down but a three from the impressive Courtney saw Thunder lead 71-37 at the end of the third quarter.

The final quarter was a formality as Thunder stormed to an 87-45 win with Wong and Goj top scoring on 15 points, while Conor Gallagher chipped in with 14 points.

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