Finn shines as U18s grab Ireland's first ever Div A win to keep survival hopes alive

Posted by On 6:31 PM

Finn shines as U18s grab Ireland's first ever Div A win to keep survival hopes alive

IRELAND’S U18 WOMEN staked the best possible claim in their bid for Division A survival with the country’s first win at that grade in the Fiba U18 European Championships in Italy.

Dayna Finn scored 22 points to help Ireland defeat Sweden 53-52 to set up a loser-leaves-town clash with Bosnia-Herzegovina tomorrow (13.15, Irish time).

“A little bit of history was made tonight â€" and we’re not done yet. I’m so unbelievably proud of this team!” said head coach Patrick O’Neill.

“The effort the girls put in was phenomenal. They dug deep and showed such resilience and mental fortitude to come back and take control â€" and of course, to get us our first ever win at Division A.”


Ireland edged an exceptionally tight openin g quarter thanks to a Maeve Phelan buzzer-beater to make it 10-8. Sweden matched Ireland stride for stride before the halfway point, and it took the shooting of Finn, Bronagh Cassidy Power and Niamh Masterson to retain an advantage of just 20-19 entering the second half.

A magnificent three-pointer from Annaliese Murphy helped Ireland open up an 11-point lead by the end of the third quarter, but there was heavy weather still ahead as Sweden battled back to lead with two minutes to play.

With 10 seconds to go, the Scandinavians looked like they had grabbed a win after capitalising on a breakaway steal. Fortunately, the cool head of Enya Maguire on the inbound play found Finn, who drove to the basket to grab the clutch game-winning score.

Meanwhile, in Sarajevo, Ireland U16 boys also faced Sweden in European Championship action, losing out 73-70.

IRELAND UNDER 18 WOMEN: Eve Nealon, Dayna Finn (22), Nicole Clancy, Enya Maguire, Annaliese M urphy (3), Maeve Phelan (4), Lynn Tunnah, Maeve Ã" Séaghdha (4), Niamh Masterson (4), Bronagh Power Cassidy (10), Ella McCloskey (4), Katie Williamson (2).

IRELAND U16 MEN: CJ Fulton (25), Conor McDonnell, Conor Walsh, Denzel Ebose (4), Eli Lenihan (12), Jack Doyle, Kelvin O’Donoghue, Liam Keating, Malik Thaim, Oscar O’Lideadha, Rapolas Buivydas (10), Ronan Collins (19)

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Source: Google News Ireland | Netizen 24 Ireland

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