Basketball: Women’s division 1 cup semi-finals

Motz brace secures big win for Abbey Seals

by Aaron Dunne
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Amelia Motz continued an outstanding individual season for Abbey Seals Dublin Lions, as she scored 26-points to guide her team into a Women’s Division 1 National Cup final against Phoenix Rockets, grinding out a five-point win over St Paul’s Killarney.

The preceding contest gave the capacity crowd at Upper Glanmire all the drama they could handle, or so they thought. Both St. Pauls Killarney and Abbey Seals Dublin Lions served up another feast of basketball that had everyone on the edge of their seats.

Six lead changes in a game where both led by as much as 13-points at different intervals, momentum was a fickle friend for each set of players. A hot shooting spell in the third quarter proved to be the difference for Rob White’s Dubliners.

 They amassed 23-points, giving up just seven in reply, before holding firm against a similar onslaught in the final period.

The opening half was a predictably tight affair.

Each team looking to get their scoring threats settled into a rhythm and succeeding in doing so, the only disappointment being the loss of St Paul’s Killarney captain Rheanne O’Shea after a hard fall during transition.

She had contributed 13-points in as many minutes at that time. Given the end-to-end nature of this titanic struggle, it was fitting that a Trudy Walker jump shot and a pair of Gillian Walker free-throws

reduced the gap to just three points at the half, 36-33 in favour of the Kerry side.

The closing two quarters couldn’t have been more contrasting. Abbey Seals Dublin Lions played like a team possessed in the third and when required, St Pauls Killarney played copycat in the fourth. Sofia Paska, Yuleska Ramirez Tejeda, Emily Smyth, Trudy Walker and Lorraine Scanlon, all made it into double digits on the box score for their respective outfits.

For long spells, it appeared as if no one could miss. With all that said, the old adage defence wins championships came to fore right at the death.

With just over sixty ticks left on the clock, just two points separated the teams.

Abbey Seals Dublin Lions needed one more stop. They couldn’t prevent the initial Sofia Paska sky hook, but the ensuing rebound fell gleefully into the hands of Amelia Motz.

With time elapsing, Ramirez-Tejeda was forced to foul, allowing Motz to hit the final points of the game from the free-throw line, with the chants of ‘MVP, MVP, MVP’ deafening from her jubilant supporters.

DBS Éanna’s Kristijan Andabaka and Ciaran O’Sullivan of Emporium Cork during the Dublin side’s Pat Duffy Cup semi-final win. Photo: ©INPHO/Evan Treacy

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