Donegal Town BC rose to the occasion against Letterkenny Rose as they ran out U19 Ladies Regional champions at Loreto Convent Letterkenny.
Letterkenny Blaze 59 Donegal Town BC 65
Sundays final paired the top two finishers in the league after comfortable wins in the semi final’s against All Stars and 88ers for both sides, but a recent overtime win by 20-odd points against DTBC coupled with a National Cup win earlier in the season left the home side as the team to beat in the final.
With the tip-off delayed and other teams waiting to play it meant a great crowd in the gym as the u12 girls especially brought great support for our girls as they faced into the tough task of paying Blaze at home in a final.
What followed was an incredible game and a credit to both clubs as this turned into a fantastic spectacle with an end to end basketball played at pace with great skill and fantastic scores from both sides.
Captain Furey got the home side off to a great start with the first bucket as scores from Carbery and Dorrian settled the early nerves.
Kealy and O’Grady got Blaze going with nice scores along with baskets from Quinn and Curley but scores from the fantastic Carr and young Orla Mc Gonagle finished out the quarter on a 16-11 scoreline and a five-point lead for the away side.
But Blaze came storming back with their best quarter hitting 20 points which included 2 lovely 3 pointers from Mc Geever while Quinn 4pts and Higgins 8pts found their range with some fantastic outside shots.
With the hard-working Meabh Dorrian sitting due to foul trouble DTBC started to struggle while Carr did hit a 3 pointer for her team she was well shackled for the quarter as Catherine Campbell nailed a nice shot along with two great scores from young Sarah Donovan and the last from McGonagle to underline the importance of our u16 players to the team.
DTBC did have a little lead but that was snuffed out by Blaze who led by the minimum in it at half time 31-30 and all those there thoroughly enjoying a great game.
The Third quarter is always pivotal in any game and nothing would separate these two great rivals but it was the away side making the running always staying that basket or two ahead but being reeled back all the time by Blaze.
Laura Kealy really brought the game to DTBC as she carried well and hit a 3 pointer while O’Grady had 7 pts but DTBC’s two big guns came to life with Sophie Carr 8pts and Orla Carbery 6 pts with an important basket from Furey too to leave a 16-14 quarter to DTBC and 1 point lead going into the last.
No one could take their eyes of this game as both sets of supporters got behind their sides pushing them on and producing a great finale.
DTBC did stretch out to 8 points ahead and for all the world looked like closing out the game but Blaze rallied and came back again with a big score from Curley as a 3 point from McGovern brought them level once again in the dying seconds but it wasn’t to be for blaze as DTBC held on to get a fantastic win.
Furey was immense in the closing stages as she hit a vital 3 pointer but DTBC’s star player Sophie Carr rose to the occasion when was needed most hitting an incredible 11 points in the closing quarter being fed by the fantastic rebounds from Orla Carbery.
Credit to Blaze for a fantastic game and there well served by Kealy, O’Grady and Higgins while the winners can thank MVP Sophie Carr who scored 24 points while Carbery, Dorrian and Furey were also Fantastic throughout.
Blaze: C Kelly, K Mc Govern 3, S Higgins 10, L Kealy 16, E Quinn 8, C Mcfadden, A Curley 6, A O Grady 10, C Mc Geever 6, A Irwin, L Ryan, R Barrett, Coach Ian Mc Geever, T Kealy, K Kelly.
Donegal Town BC: Catherine Campbell 2, Amy Carr, Meabh Dorrian 6, A Timoney, Sofia Maziri, Sophie Carr 24, Orla Carbery 11, A Maxwell, Emma Meehan, Sarah Donovan 5, Andrea Furey © 13, Natasha Prendiville, Orla Mc Gonagle. Coach Kevin Sinclair & Rosa Devaney.