Ireland 93 Iceland 72: A terrific second half performance sealed Ireland’s victory over Iceland (93-72) in a thrilling Senior Women’s International at the Neptune stadium on Saturday.
The hosts — beaten by Iceland 24 hours earlier in Dublin — had a perfect start with captain Gráinne Dwyer nailing three free throws in the opening minute. Iceland looked tentative in the early exchanges and when Áine McKenna shot a monstrous three-pointer, Ireland increased their lead to eight points. Gradually the visitors began playing smarter basketball in the offence court and inspired by Ragna Brynjarsdottir they went four points ahead before a Dwyer basket reduced the deficit to 24-22 entering the second period.Both sides were guilty of errors on the restart before three-pointers from Claire Melia edged Ireland in front and they led 43-39 a the break.
Ireland punished Iceland at will in the third quarter and with Killester ace Mimi Clarke ( 6 Three pointers) and Melia (3 threes) in stunning form, the lead was 18 points by the final quarter.Coming down the stretch, Ireland continued to dominate at both ends of the court much to the delight of head coach Mark Scannell. “It was a physical battle in the first half but once we found our shooting range we always looked likely winners,” Scannell said.
Scorers for Ireland:
M Clarke 20, S Woods 17, C Melia 13.
Scorers for Iceland:
R Brynjarsdottit 15, G Gunnarsdottir 13, G Halfdanardottir 10.
A McKenna, S Woods, C Grace, C Rockall, A Waters, G Dwyer, D O’Leary, M Clarke, S Deegan, A O’Connor, A McDermott, C Melia.
B Tomasdottir, E Hrafnkelsdottir, A Olafsdottir, G Halfdanardottir, I Kristinardottir, S Amundadottir, G Gunnarsdottir, S Prastardottir, I Jakobsdottir, B Gunnarsdottir, J Sveinsdottir, R Brynjarsdottir.
PJ Coughlan, G Daly, E Cooke (Cork).
Article Credit The Irish Examiner