Teresa shows nerves of steel

by Stephen Findlater

TERESA O’Sullivan won an incredible free-throw competition to see the Dublin All-Stars land the third annual Kilkenny Masters crown at O’Loughlin’s Gaels and Loreto Sports Hall last week.

Eighteen teams took part across the men’s and ladies tournament from across the country including teams from Cork, Kerry, Mayo, Dublin, Laois, Offaly, Carlow, Wicklow, Waterford and, of course, Kilkenny with over 200 players and officials taking part.

All Stars were beaten finalists last year, losing by four points to Midlands Portlaoise.

Player/coach/captain Siobhain Monerawela – who plays with Tigers Basketball Club – said: “I entered a team which was made up of eight players.

“They were from various basketball clubs throughout Dublin, Wicklow and Cork, and three of the players are not affiliated to any basketball club. Some of us would have played on the same team before at previous master’s tournaments or against each other in the Dublin League.

“So the first time we played as a unit was on Saturday morning when our first game kicked off at 10am against Leinster Hot Shots!”

While their first game is usually a slow-burner but the All-Stars were content to win out by five points. They followed up with an easy win against Marble City.

This put them through to the semi-finals on Sunday morning against another all Dublin team, Pegasus, who are also great supporters of all the master’s tournaments in Ireland and abroad.

“It was our best game so far in the tournament. You could see we were really getting to know each other’s style as players and we capitalised on that, winning by 17 points.”

That secured a final spot against a strong Midlands Portlaoise team who won the final last year.

“We changed our defence to a match-up for the start of this game which seemed to work well for a while. But we then reverted to a 1-2-2 defence as our legs were tiring.

“It was a nail-biting, low-scoring game which was neck and neck throughout and finished with a 20-20 draw.”

It led to a three-round free-throw contes. O’Sullivan stepped up to the plate for us and had to go first.

With both free throw shooters making the first shot and missing the next two; they had to continue until a player missed a shot.

O’Sullivan – who plays for Raiders in the Dublin League – hit the fourth shot and the Midlands player missed her fourt shot, which meant a 21-20 win for the All-Stars.

“It was a great end to a fantastic well organised tournament weekend. We left everything on the court, and we were all delighted to win it.”

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