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 Shannon Brady, Fr Mathew's, eyes the basket. Picture: Larry Cummins.
Shannon Brady, Fr Mathew's, eyes the basket. Picture: Larry Cummins.
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Brady at her best as Fr Mathew’s go through to Champions Trophy final

Fr Mathew’s 57 DCU Mercy 39

FR MATHEW’S produced a season-best display to overcome DCU Mercy in the Women’s Champions Trophy semi-final at Carlow IT.

Credit to all concerned at Fr Mathew’s, who are competing at this level for the first time, but they showed all their experience to beat their strongly fancied Dublin opponents who had defeated them twice in the league. Next up is Liffey Celtics, chasing a clean sweep of silverware, who beat Brunell in the other semi-final.

The scenes at the final buzzer epitomised what this win meant to the Fr Mathew’s players as coach James Fleming praised all concerned.

“We knew that if we played good defence there was every chance we could upset their rhythm and that’s the way the game panned out,” said Fleming.

It has been a remarkable first season for Fr Mathew’s that saw them finish third in the league and they also reached the national cup semi-final.

Fleming added: “When you think of the progress we have made in 12 months it’s actually incredible but as I always emphasise it’s about the players and today they put their bodies on the line from start to finish.”

The mood in the DCU camp was one of disappointment but coach Mark Ingle offered no excuses.

“You don’t win many games when you score 39 points over 40 minutes, and credit to Fr Mathew’s they played some very good defence and deserved their win,” said Mark Ingle.

It was clear to see from tip-off that Mathew’s were up for battle, and with Shannon Brady dominating the DCU American Sam Hyslip, it was no surprise the Cork side led 15-8 entering the second quarter.

The trend of the game didn’t change on the restart but with Hollie Herlihy completely shutting down the leading DCU shooter Sarah Woods they stayed in control to lead by 15 points at the break.

Woods was held scoreless as she was hustled out of the game by Herlihy, and with the Dwyer sisters Grainne and Niamh showing their experience Mathew’s led 43-29 entering the last quarter.

Coming down the stretch Mathew’s stayed in control as DCU Mercy were basically outfought by the battling Leesiders.

Next on the agenda for Fr Mathews is a final against Liffey Celtics on April 14.

Scorers for Fr Mathew’s: S Brady 18, G Dwyer 12, C Alford 9, N Dwyer 9.

DCU Mercy: B P Cassidy 15, S Hyslip 6, R Huijsdens 5.