Apr 20 2024

Singleton SuperValu Rebels edge Cork Cougars 46-43 to lift Women’s Over 40s National Cup

Singleton SuperValu Rebels were crowned this season’s Women’s Over 40s Masters National Cup champions after they weathered a huge challenge from Cork Cougars to clinch a 46-43 win in Saturday’s final in Neptune Stadium.

Rebels were first out of the blocks in this Cork derby, with Juliet Murphy putting up a deuce before Dearbhla Breen followed that with a brace of buckets to see their side 6-0 up.

Cougars did manage to restore parity by way of scores from Niamh Dwyer and Orla Murphy Stout, but a free-throw by Neasa O’Keeffe punctured that revival and signalled the start of another Rebels push that featured two sublime efforts from beyond the arc by Fiona Lynch and propelled them 14 points clear by the close of the first quarter.

The scores, however, completely dried up for Rebels in the second quarter as Cougars ratcheted up their defensive intensity, confining their opponents to just a free-throw from Maria Harty over  the course of that 10-minute period.

 Singleton SuperValu Rebels' Maria Harty with Joanne Cahalane and Niamh Dwyer of Cork Cougars

Meanwhile, they managed to put up 11 themselves to close the gap to four points by the half-time recess, Agnieszka Lukasiewicz igniting that run with a superb attempt from the three-point line.

Amanda O’Regan and Rosie Tobin each weighed in a further four points ahead of the break to help leave this decider nicely poised at 23-19 heading into the second half.

 Singleton SuperValu Rebels' Juliet Murphy and Rosie Tobin of Cork Cougars

Rebels did manage to regain a hold of the tie in the third quarter, a Nollaig Cleary free throw accounting for the first point of that period two and half minutes in.

Tobin responded with a bucket down the other end of the floor, but a six-point run that included scores from Breen, Harty and Murphy pushed Rebels’ lead out to nine.

And while Dwyer hit points from the floor and free-throw line, Cougars still found themselves facing a seven-point deficit heading into the final quarter as Harty drained both of her free shots in the closing seconds of that period.

Cork, however, remained right in contention and another three from Lukasiewicz, combined with buckets from Tobin, helped haul them back to within two of their opponents.

But a Juliet Murphy basket, coupled with a free throw by Cleary, helped steady the ship for Rebels down the stretch and, despite Dwyer’s late score, Cougars were unable find the crucial three they needed to close the gap. 

 Singleton SuperValu Rebels' Juliet Murphy celebrates after the game with  teammate Dearbhla Breen

Quarter Scores: Q1: 8-22, Q2: 19-23, Q3: 27-34, Q4: 43-46

Cork Cougars:

Orla Murphy Stout, Amanda O’Regan, Joanne Cahalane, Agnieszka Lukasiewicz, Rosie Tobin, Mags Downey, Louise O’Connor, Niamh Dwyer, Jo O’Keeffe.

Top Scorers: Rosie Tobin (14), Niamh Dwyer (13), Agnieszka Lukasiewicz (6).

Singleton SuperValu Rebels:

Angelene Myers, Nollaig Cleary, Juliet Murphy, Mai O’Leary, Fiona Lynch, Neasa O’Keeffe, Maria Harty, Gillian Condon, Dearbhla Breen, Mary Gardiner.

Top Scorers: Juliet Murphy (13), Nollaig Cleary (9), Dearbhla Breen (8).