Basketball: Vanderwal gives UL the edge in thriller
Rachael Vanderwal and Michelle Fahy were the stars of the show at the National Basketball Arena in Dublin, as UL Huskies secured back-to-back successes in a titanic battle with Team Montenotte Hotel.
The reigning champions had started firing on all cylinders, but the Glanmire outfit fought back and the UL cushion was down to just five (22-17) at the end of the first quarter.
Though UL threatened to pull away at times, a stunning three-pointer on the stroke of half-time from Niamh Dwyer reduced the margin to two (33-31). Doubles from Vanderwal (who finished with an impressive personal tally of 26 points), Fahy and Rachel Clancy then offered UL a considerable 51-44 lead as the final quarter beckoned.
Montenotte's never-say-die spirit helped them to cut the UL lead back down to three with the help of six points from increasingly influential centre Marie Breen, but UL Huskies pushed on in the closing stages with an 11-point scoring burst in the final three minutes helping them to complete the double.
UL HUSKIES – L Galvin, R Clancy, K Fahy, C Grant, M Fahy, R Vanderwal, A Staunton, M Tarrant, L Maher, A McDermott, S McGorry.
TEAM MONTENOTTE HOTEL – A McKenna, A Dunlea, R O'Shea, N Dwyer, A O'Regan, G Dwyer, K Walsh, L Falvey, L O'Sullivan, M Breen, K Bland, T Bacic.
REFS – T Quinn, M Thornhill, P Caden.