Prior to Friday’s Women’s Superleague National Cup final DCU Mercy coach Mark Ingle wanted fans to expect the unexpected, but the formbook was to ring true as UL recorded a comfortable 64-27 victory at the National Basketball arena.
Mercy were attempting to secure a third National Cup title on the trot, but were ruthlessly dethroned by a more clinical UL outfit.
UL have undoubtedly taken over the mantle as the best side in the country, and this crucial 28th victory of a staggering unbeaten run, stretching back to December of 2010, saw them deservedly crowned National Cup Champions.
DCU, who overcame Killester to reach the decider, curbed UL’s renowned attacking threat in the opening exchanges, but were left frustrated at some unforgivable misses at the other end.
The first quarter ended 10-7 in favour of UL, with Mercy’s Lindsay Peat landing a three pointer seconds out.
That said, UL forged ahead early in the second quarter thanks in the main to Rachel Vanderwal and Louise Galvin, extending their advantage to ten by the interval.
DCU desperately needed a positive start to the third quarter, but they were unable to reduce the deficit. Indeed, Michelle Fahy, MVP on the night, pushed UL out to a fourteen point lead to effectively kill the game as a contest.
The final quarter was something of a foregone conclusion, with James Weldon’s troops displaying a far too much focus and determination for the outcome to ever be in doubt.
DCU Mercy will now turn their attention to the Women’s Superleague, a title they last won in 2007. Mark Ingle’s side currently lie in third place five points adrift of second placed TM Hotel Cork and seven off leaders UL.
There was some joy for the Mercy club with the U20 side, led by the imperious Sarah Woods, capturing the U20 National Cup at the expense of Tralee Imperials, 53-51 the final scoreline.