Portlaoise Panthers ladies got their season off to the best possible start with an emphatic win away to Rathangan last Tuesday night. With a host of new additions to the team they blended early on and continued to dominate throughout the game.
Portlaoise started the first quarter brilliantly with baskets from Donna O’Connell and Leanne Hayes. Rathangan didn’t give up though and worked hard to get a few baskets to make it a great first quarter. Panthers replied again and at the end of the quarter the scoreline stood at 16-5 to Portlaoise.
The start of the second quarter saw Portlaoise make changes to continue their great start. With great rebounding from Grace Delaney and Rebecca Kelly and precision offence play and scores from Emma Colohan and Danielle Keane, Portlaoise extended their lead and by half time had cruised into a 22 point lead.
Portlaoise started the third quarter as they had finished the half with lay ups from Sharon Regan and Aoife Brennan on the break. Portlaoise showed their accuracy from beyond the arc with Leanne Hayes nailing two massive three pointers to extend Portlaoise’ lead. Rathangan fought hard to continue their come back but Portlaoise’ defence was just too strong and at the end of the third quarter, it stood Portlaoise 55 Rathagan 24.
Portlaoise coach Shane O’Neill again changed the team keeping it strong to see out the fourth quarter and with outstanding rebounding from Brennan and Regan, Portlaoise kept calm and moved the ball around, and continued to add scores to finish well deserved winners; Portlaoise 64 Rathagan 35.
Portlaoise: Grace Delaney, Sharon Regan, Amy Dunphy, Leanne Hayes, Donna O’Connell, Zoe O’Dea, Edel Gillligan, Rebecca Kelly, Niamh Sweeney, Emma Scully, Danielle Keane, Aoife Brennan, Sinead Clancy, Anna Frazier, Dorothy Fahey.
Coach: Shane O’Neill Assistant Coach: Jack Scully