Portlaoise Panthers unbeaten run unfortunately came to an end last week when they were defeated by local rivals Ballyroan Mavericks.
Portlaoise Panthers 39
Ballyroan Mavericks 55
Meetings between these two sides have always been tough and impossible to call, however, this time it was the away side that were victorious. This was the first game between the sides this season and their second is only around the corner.
Ballyroan were the first to score with a three point shot from the top of the arc. Portlaoise were quick to respond displaying excellent passes resulting in two three-pointers in a row at the opposite end. However, this wasn’t enough to take the lead and finished the first quarter 8-13 down.
Portlaoise started the second quarter stronger with passes inside the key to Leanne Hayes scoring three successive baskets from the post position.
Ballyroan were quick to react and scored a number of baskets on the fast break. Mavericks stepped up their defence and the ball was put out of play at the Portlaoise end. Panthers used this to execute a well timed inbound play to set up Danielle Keane for a beautiful three point shot from outside the arc. The visitors held onto their lead going into the half time Break.
The third quarter proved to be very physical as Mavericks notched up the fouls and halfway through the period found themselves in foul trouble. Katie Costello got her name on the score sheet with a well taken free throw.
With another two from Dorothy Fahy, the away side knew they could not afford to give away any more opportunities for Panthers to score from the line. Excellent defensive rebounding from Anna Frasier could not prevent the home side finishing the quarter trailing by 7 baskets.
Both teams fitness was put to the test in the last quarter of this very fast paced gamed. Hayes continued to punish Mavericks defence scoring two free throws and following this up shortly with an excellent three point shot. The home team was not giving up without a fight and undeniably threw everything into the game in the last few minutes.
With a steal from Emma Colohan on the half way line, the ball came to Fahy, who netted a trademark three pointer. Colohan once again terrorised the defence with a strong drive to the basket that seen her fouled and score two shots from the line. This time around, it was Ballyroan Mavericks who finished the stronger team. As this is only Panthers first loss of the season, there is no doubting their ability and determination to come back from this loss.
Portlaoise Panthers Team: Niamh Sweeney, Emma Colohan, Danielle Keane, Leanne Hayes, Katie Costello, Amy Dunphy, Dorothy Fahy, Aoife Brennan, Maria Malone, Helena Dempsey, Siobhan O’Connor, Helena Dempsey.
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