Portlaoise Panthers National League team got their season off to a start last Saturday night.
Their first game of the season was against Britton Insurance Donegal in Donegal town and they were very much an unknown quantity before the jump ball.
Portlaoise got off to a very nervous start in the game, missing lots of easy lay-ups and shots and from the beginning of the first quarter, it was evident that it was going to take time and patience for this new team to gel.
At the end of the first quarter the Panthers were down sixteen points to nine. The feeling in the camp was that they were very much still in the game and it was just a matter of remaining patient. When Deirdre Tomlinson was introduced into the game she lead the way in fighting back with some strong drives to the board resulting in scores or free throw attempts.
However, the Donegal ladies were well organised and were able to break with relative ease in the second quarter and the Panthers were 32-15 down at the half. A few changes were made by coach Joe Keenan at the break and this proved successful in the third quarter as the Panthers won this quarter ten points to nine.
The girls put together some fabulous passages of play in the third quarter proving to themselves that with some time they will be a force to be reckoned with. The girls held firm again in the fourth quarter and with determined play they stemmed the Donegal scoring and came up with some great scores themselves. The first half deficit was too much for the Panthers to claw back and a score of 17 points each in the fourth meant the first game on the road for the girls ended in defeat.
Portlaoise Panthers take on National University of Ireland Galway in St Mary’s Hall Portlaoise at 7.30pm this Saturday night 6th October. Your support would be greatly appreciated.
Team: Megan Dunne, Aoife Donoghue, Maeve O’Sullivan, Mary Callanan, Deirdre Tomlinson, Tracey Fallon, Sinéad Melia, Karen O’Sullivan, Catherine O’Sullivan, Holli Dunne, Sharon Melia, Edel Folan. Coach: Joe Keenan