National League

Apr 13 2024

iSecure Swords Thunder beat St. Paul’s Killarney 69-63 to win Division One Trophy

iSecure Swords Thunder took Divison One Trophy honours, with a 69-63 win over St. Paul’s Killarney at the National Basketball Arena.

St. Paul’s Killarney were looking to achieve the double, having sealed promotion to the Super League with victory in the Division One final over iSecure Swords Thunder, but this time it was the Dublin club who emerged victorious in a close encounter. Jensen Caretti among those to shine for the victors, as she picked up the MVP, helped by her a 19 point haul

The sides matched it each other stride for stride in the opening half, they were level at 16-16 at the end of the first quarter. Three minutes into the second quarter it was 20-20 following Kate Kelly’s basket for iSecure Swords Thunder, before St. Paul’s Killarney went on a seven-point run, with Denise Dunlea hitting five of those points and Khiarica Rasheed completing the sequence, to give James Fleming’s side a 27-20 lead by the midpoint of the quarter. iSecure Swords Thunder responded emphatically with a nine-point run, Aisling O’Sullivan’s three putting them 29-27 up with three minutes to go, however it would be honours even by half-time, 34-34 apiece.

iSecure Swords Thunder edged the third quarter, former SETU Waterford Wildcats player Jasmine Walker grabbing eight points, as they led 54-47 by the end of it.

Jasmine Walker in action for iSecure Swords Thunder in Division One Trophy final

St. Paul’s Killarney raced out the blocks in the fourth quarter, a Rasheed basket, followed by back-to-back threes from Rheanne O’Shea and Rasheed ,put St. Paul’s Killarney back in front, 55-54, three minutes into the quarter. It prompted a timeout from Swords coach Paul Carr and that seemed to have the desired effect - Peggy Black landed from the three point line and a layup from Megan Howe put the Dublin side 59-55 up at the midpoint in the quarter.

A pair of Sophia Paska free throws and the deficit was two points, 61-59, with three minutes to go. Swords Thunder had a six point lead, 65-59, with 53 seconds remaining, thanks to Laura Fortune’s basket and two Caretti free throws and they held their nerve to close out the contest and secure a 69-63 win. 

Peggy Black and Aisling Sullivan celebrate with iSecure Swords Thunder teammates after Division One Trophy final win.

iSecure Swords Thunder head coach, Paul Carr, said: "I'm delighted for the girls. How we've managed to come together from the start of the season, to where we were today has just been amazing. It was a really tough game, both teams played well and gave a great occasion for women's basketball. I'm just proud of how we played not only today, but all season."

All games from National League finals weekend are live on, while you can watch ‘Super Sunday’ live on TG4 from 1345 on Sunday, with the Champions Trophy final between Pyrobel Killester and SETU Waterford Wildcats at 2pm, followed by the Super League final featuring Griffith College Éanna and Pyrobel Killester at 4.30pm. Live stats from every game on the Swish All Hoops App.

iSecure Swords Thunder 69–63 St. Paul’s Killarney  

Quarter Scores: Q1: 16-16, Q2: 34-34, Q3: 54-47, Q4: 69-63

iSecure Swords Thunder:

Megan Connolly, Zara Troy, Megan Howe, Zoe Egan, Kate Kelly, Jasmine Walker, Peggy Black, Aisling Sullivan, Laura Fortune, Jensen Caretti

Head Coach: Paul Carr   

Top Scorers: Jensen Caretti 19, Jasmine Walker 16, Peggy Black 14

St. Paul’s Killarney:

Liadh Tobin, Leah McMahon, Rheanne O’Shea, Lynn Jones, Aisling O’Mahony, Denise Dunlea, Lorraine Scanlon, Cliona Coffey, Meabh Barry, Mary Kate Smith, Khiarica Rasheed, Sofia Paska

Head Coach: James Fleming   

Top Scorers: Khiarica Rasheed 19, Sofia Paska 16, Denise Dunlea 14