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Donegal trip brings Swords ladies no reward


Top scorer - Peggy Black. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Top scorer - Peggy Black. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Top scorer - Peggy Black. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile




Swords Thunder slipped to the bottom of the Division 1 Northern Conference as they suffered an eighth defeat of the campaign, this time away to LYIT Donegal.

As has been the case on numerous occasions this season, Joan Black’s young side were competitive throughout, but once again they just couldn’t get that crucial win as the students edged clear in the final stages.

Swords were looking for their second win of the season as they travelled north to face the Donegal side and they must have been quietly confident, having beaten their opponents on two occasions already this season - including once in the National Cup.

That confidence would have grown even stronger after an impressive opening quarter from Swords which saw them take an early lead thanks in the main to some excellent shooting from top scorer Peggy Black as well as captain Niamh O’Donovan.

For the hosts Shannon Cunningham was keeping them in it with some fine scores of her own, but it was the visitors who took a lead into the second quarter, with O’Donovan’s late two-pointer giving them a 25-21 lead after Q1.

The second quarter saw the home side enjoy more possession, with Maria Kealy and Shannon Cunningham causing plenty of problems for the Swords defence. Cunningham’s two free throws just before the break proved crucial as the hosts went in at half-time with a narrow 41-40 lead.

Swords fought hard in the third quarter, but luck was not on their side, with a number of efforts from them hitting the rim and rebounding to a home defender.

Another close quarter was edged by the students, with Cunningham in particular helping LYIT take a 60-54 lead into the final period.

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The last quarter saw both sides give their all as they looked for the win. The game was becoming very frantic and open now as LYIT looked to protect their lead, with mistakes happening at both ends.

Swords got to within a point of their rivals with two minutes to go thanks to Peggy Black’s 21st point of the match, but the excellent Shannon Cunningham sealed victory for the hosts with two late scores to help her side to a 75-70 victory.

Swords Thunder’s scoring was headed by Peggy Black (21), Niamh O’Donovan (15) and Erica Egan (10).