WATERFORD IT 56 -
DUBLIN CITY UNIVERSITY 66
All-Ireland Intervarsities League Semi-final
WIT ladies basketball team’s great unbeaten 14 month record came to an end in their semi-final against DCU at the WIT Arena on Wednesday last.
WIT were outsiders going into the game but no one told the brave WIT players. In a very open first quarter WIT played a zone defence to try to keep DCU’s Victory Scholar and top scorer in the National Superleague Sarah Fairbanks (24points) under pressure. This lady is currently the outstanding force in Irish basketball and keeping her score to a minimum had to be the main focus of the WIT defensive plan. With Dalacy Anderson (15 points) giving a supreme effort WIT went in leading by two points at the end of the first quarter, 17-15.
A shock looked on the cards when WIT were lethal in attack in the second quarter. Aoife Brett (10 points) and Brittney Dunbar (15 points) were on fire in this quarter and WIT led by 33-27 going in at half time.
DCU came hot out of the blocks at the start of the second half with Megan Connolly (12 points) shooting the lights outs to quickly put DCU into the lead. Aine McDonnell (12 points) was finding room under the WIT basket that had not been there in the first half and despite the efforts of Amy McGuire (7 points) and Yvonne Corcoran (9 points) DCU went in at the end of the third quarter leading 43-44.
Another epic battle looked on for coach Jim Dudley’s fine WIT team who never shirk from a war. Brittney Dunbar took the fight to DCU constantly probing at their defence but couldn’t spring their traps to get herself free for easy baskets. Each time WIT attacked they were met by the huge presence of Sarah Fairbanks who defended the paint forcing WIT to shoot from way outside to get their scores. Two minutes left and two points down WIT had two open shots which didn’t fall and DCU went down the floor gave the ball to Fairbanks who finished well when being fouled on both occasions, hitting the additional free throw both times. The game was up for WIT. The home team were reduced to fouling early to try and get the ball back, putting DCU on the free throw line who scored eight free throws without missing any in the last two minutes to finally win on a somewhat flattering 56-66 scoreline.
This is not the end of the season for WIT who now go into the Inter Varsities Cup Weekend in April with a point to prove. However Waterford can be proud of these young ladies who will come back from this loss.
WIT: DaLacy Anderson, Brittney Dunbar, Aoife Brett, Yvonne Corcoran, Ciara Twomey, Valerie O’Brien, Amy McGuire, Chloe Morrissey and Hannah Gorman.