Peat glad of Ireland comeback

by Gazette Reporter
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LINDSAY Peat is hoping to make up for lost time in an Irish basketball jersey following her selection as part of a representative side from the women’s national league that travel to Luxembourg in May.

There, the side will take on a number of international sides preparing for FIBA Eurobasket 2017, including Luxembourg and Scotland.

The 34-year-old, in 2013, was part of a select team that played in the Gathering Shield against Wales and she is hungry for more of the same after a frustrating five years.

“It was a fantastic experience and an opportunity to play as part of some sort of Irish representative team which I had not had the opportunity to do since the Irish senior women’s team was pulled from competition in 2010.

“We had a seriously talented team that day that simply blew Wales away, which was fantastic but also very sad reminder that talent was going to waste.”

The DCU Mercy woman co-captained the Irish senior side then, saying it was “the highest level I’ve played at.”

The withdrawal of the senior team came at a time when Irish basketball’s governing body had to repay over €120,000 to the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.

“The organisation pulled us in 2010 due to lack of funding, I’d been in that senior squad since 2006, and we were one win off a play-off to Division A, which would have been huge.

“Basketball Ireland ran out of money basically and weren’t willing to let us try to raise funds to get us back into competition because they were simply so much in debt they couldn’t support us in any way possible.”

Since then, Peat has got her summer fix of elite sport solely as a mainstay with the Dublin senior footballers, winning an All-Ireland in 2011.

The Parnell’s clubwoman was also part of the Dublin team that narrowly lost to Cork in the All-Ireland final last September with Peat scoring two goals.

Peat said managing to balance playing both Gaelic Games and basketball in high levels is not quite the balancing act due to the lack of international matches in the latter code.

“Other than one match, against Kerry in the All-Ireland quarter-finals, and the Irish women’s basketball team playing Switzerland at home, nothing really clashed but that was in 2010, the last year of the Irish basketball team.

“As for the club, the basketball season commandeers the winter months with football taking up the summer. I do miss the league season playing with Dublin due to basketball.”

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