NUIG Mystics 59 -
Maxol WIT Wildcats 71
Abbey Flynn was in great form for the Wildcats as they won in Galway.
Basketball Ireland Women’s Super League
Maxol WIT Wildcats had a massive Superleague win away to NUIG Galway last Saturday afternoon. The final score of 59-71 might indicate a comfortable victory for Wildcats but such was not the case as there was little between the sides for most of the game.
In the early stages scores were traded before Wildcats’ Meghan Donoghue’s back to back baskets were followed by a three point play from Helena Rohan to leave the Waterford outfit seven points to the good at the break. The difference should have been much greater had a number of Wildcats players converted opportunities that they would normally put away with their eyes closed. Things got no better for Wildcats in the third quarter as after more missed chances. Galway hit top gear reducing the deficit to just two points.
A timeout killed the hosts’ momentum and eventually Wildcats notched up a string of scores to lead by eleven with 10 minutes the final buzzer. Galway threw caution to the wind in an all out effort that saw them reduce Wildcats advantage to four points and when Jasmine Walker was sidelined after suffering a twisted ankle confidence was diminishing in the Wildcats camp. However the games ( MVP ) 16 year old Abby Flynn had other ideas when she had two excellent steals and then drove coast to coast to lay up and take her total to 12 points. The last basket of the game was netted by Helena Rohan, also on 12 points after one of her best performances for some time. Wildcats’ players know they didn’t have their finest game but the result overall for the club is massive as it ensures Superleague status for the 2018/19 season and that in itself is significant as there are a number of talented young players coming through who will relish the chance to play in Ireland’s top league.
Considering Sinead Deegan is out foreign for this season and captain Cathy Kavanagh’s season finished back in November after a knee injury plus other players missing games with niggling injuries, one has to be realistic and say well done Wildcats.
However coaches Hayes and Nolan may not be so understanding as they know their charges could be in the play off shake up had they not let a couple of game winning opportunities slip from their grasp. Both coaches were part of the Wildcats team that were invincible for a decade some time back and with more experience coaching in the Superleague hopes are high given time they can bring Wildcats back to be the force they once were.
Meanwhile they must focus on the four remaining games left this season and all are against teams at the top of the table. Wildcats don’t have a game this weekend which will allow time for injuries to heal before former Wildcats favourite Jasmine Boone and high flying Liffey Celtics come to town on Saturday February 17th. With the fear of relegation put to bed maybe Wildcats can turn it on to upset the odds.