Letterkenny Blaze 66 DTBC 42
Our girls finished out the regular season league with an away game to league leaders Blaze. A 10am tip off on Sunday 23rd in Letterkenny was a early start but fair play to the girls for making the effort to be there and despite losing the game can be very proud of their league efforts this season. The game started fairly even with both teams having good starts but it was Blaze who possessed more players threatening the basket to create a better all round attack while our girls depended on the man marked Sophie Carr to put points on the board to see Blaze go in after the first 19-16. This was a fast paced game and it was the second quarter where DTBC came undone as Blaze hit top gear. The away side lost their composure and played with no game plan which lead to turn overs and they were gobbled up by an eager Blaze fast break with some nice scores especially by Irish u16 Cunningham and Laura Kealy. 22-2 was a terrible quarter for us as the lack of training together showed and when the Blaze D pushed hard we collapsed. But effort can never be questioned as our girls gathered themselves to come out for the third and try hard to get back into the game with a 19-11 winning quarter. But Blaze were not losing the nice lead they built and stretched away again in the last quarter. Cunningham was top drawer for Blaze while Sophie Carr was our MVP. Orla Carbery had a staggering 21 rebounds and 7 blocks while Young Sofia Maziri had a great game stepping up from the u16s for the first time.
With only four u19 girls on the DTBC side we have had to rely on the younger u16 team to keep this u19 grade supplied with players all season as too many just walk away. There are programmes being rolled out for all sports to keep Women playing sport, to give the ladies games more exposure, to give Womens sport more of a public persona which is badly needed. We certainly need more ideas on how to keep the 16 to 18 year old girl playing the game here in Donegal (and unlike the boys who give it up for the Gaa or Soccer or cause of the price of our club membership and trainings) the girls just stop playing which is so hard to take after coaching them for so long as a club only to fail to take them through to u18s and adult sport. We had only one Donegal Town girl at u19 on Sunday while the other 3 Meabh Dorrian, Andrea Furey and Orla Carbery travel from Killybegs to play and without them we just couldn’t put out a team. 2 more Orla Mc Gonagle and Ava Maxwell also played u19 on sunday and are the backbone off our u16 girls also travel regularly for training and games. With part time jobs it's hard for girls to make the commitment. It's so plain to be seen as the teams come though the age groups that parental backing decreases as they progress through the age groups. At our recent u10 blitzes the gym was packed with parents, our u12 games the same, u14s the parents aren't as plentiful at their kids games and at u16 very few turn out to see and support them while at u19s hardly any. More parental backing to play sport during their school years is what we’d love to see and maybe then the kids will make it through to adulthood as sports people. We know the money is precious to each house but so too are the habits of being a sports person into their adult lives.
For so many players that are still about to miss out on a great league is such a shame. Our Girls went to the wire in 3 outa the 7 games winning twice by 3 points against 88ers, lost in overtime at home to Blaze and Sundays loss while they won two great contests with All Stars. A win away to Kilcar saw out the league while they went down in 2 games in the National Cup in Meath which was another great experience and then pushed Dublin side Meteors all the way in a great game in the National Shield. 2nd place in the league will see them play 88ers where they have had 2 fantastic games already this season in the top 4 which is on in mid january. Lets hope for a full squad available and training for it and as we hope to see Nadine, Courtney, Sarah and Aoibhe return for the season finale.
Plans are currently being drawn up for our 17s to go to France for Easter for a basketball trip as we hope to give this group every chance in the game.
Team; Natasha Prendiville, Catherine Campbell 3, Emma Meehan, Meabh Dorrian 2, Sophie Carr 17, Orla Mc Gonagle, Sofia Maziri, Andrea Furey 7, Orla Carbery 11. Coach Kevin Sinclair, Rosa Devaney. A word of thanks to Rosa who has been a fantastic help and always one to show up and help out wherever she can for the club, we could sure do with more like her as she heads off in January on her travels. Thanks a million Rosa.