Saturday 24 March 2018

Montenotte get shot at final revenge over UL

UL Huskies' Rachael Vanderwal
UL Huskies' Rachael Vanderwal

Basketball: Defending women's National Cup champions UL Huskies set up a repeat of last year's final with Team Montenotte Hotel as both sides claimed semi-final wins in Cork.

UL Huskies reversed the result from their most recent league meeting with Killester to beat the Dublin ladies.

Killester were left frustrated as their key player Candace Bond sat on the bench for large periods due to foul trouble, leaving nobody capable of marshalling UL's Rachael Vanderwal, who scored an impressive 26 points.

Team Montenotte Hotel outlasted their old rivals DCU Mercy in an exciting and bruising encounter.

Led by an inspired Emilee Harmon, who contributed 25 points and 13 rebounds, Montenotte were deserving winners, setting up a rematch of the 2013 final, which they lost by 10 points.

Elsewhere, on Friday, Neptune Stadium was the venue for the Men's Cup semi-finals and it was C&S UCC Demons and Dublin Inter who emerged on top.

Few who were in attendance will forget the epic overtime battle between Demons and Killester, which was decided by a single point.

With 26 seconds left, the game was still undecided. Demons led by three but Killester failed to capitalise when John Behan missed an easy two, allowing Demons to clinch the win at the free throw line.

Dublin Inter caused a big upset when they saw off defending champions Bord Gais Neptune.

Just when it looked like Neptune would pull off a late comeback, a massive three-pointer from Mazvydas Cepliasuskas gave Inter a three-point lead with under a minute to go.

Neptune managed only an under-pressure three-point attempt as an answer. With Neptune fouling to stop the clock, Inter converted a single free throw on the next possession, which set up a final meeting with Demons.

Both the men and women's National Cup finals will take place on January 24 in the National Basketball Arena.

Irish Independent

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