Liffey Celtics celebrate their playoff success last weekend in Letterkenny

COURTYARD Liffey Celtics defied the odds to defeat the all-conquering Ambassador UCC Glanmire 64-54 to become women’s basketball’s Super League playoff champions at Letterkenny IT last weekend.
The two sides have been going toe to toe all season as Celtics finished second in the regular season.
Their Cork counterparts also got the better of them in the final of the Women’s Hula Hoops cup when they ran out 61-48 winners.
However, Celtics got the revenge they craved to cap off an excellent year for the team and it was all done without the aid of star player Emma O’Connor.
O’Connor picked up an injury towards the end of her side’s 62-55 win over DCU Mercy in the semi-finals a week before with Erin Bracken also missing the final.
However, big performances from the likes of Sorcha Tiernan, Anna Pupin and the ever-reliable Jazmen Boone – later named March’s player of the month – saw them come away with a much deserved win.
The Leixlip-based side got off to a great start and took the lead midway through the first quarter. As the first half came to a close, Celtics notched 44 points to hold an 11 point lead, and leave their opponents reeling.
“It feels great,” said Celtics head coach Mark Byrne after the game.
“Not sure if I can put it into words but I am just incredibly proud of the girls.
“They have come on leaps and bounds all year and to do it without Emma and Erin is further testament to how well we have done. I’m super proud.
“To be fair to Glanmire, they are a class team. If you are ever going to win anything, chances are you’re going to have to go through Glanmire to do it.
“I remember saying after the disappointment of the cup final defeat it might be a great experience for us in the long run.
“I think we’ve developed so much since then– we’ve won eight in a row since that day and I’m so proud of them.
“We missed a few shots and had a few turnovers but we didn’t buckle – whether that was our personality or character. We were incredibly determined today which shone through in the end.”

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