DCU’s Ladies basketballers made a successful year even better as they claimed glory at the recent Basketball Intervarsities in DCU Sports Centre. The victory, which saw a 71-46 beating of city rivals UCD in the final, meant that the side added to their All-Ireland League silverware earlier in the year to officially take their place at the top of the Irish basketball pile.
It was a peculiar ‘Varsities Weekend’ for the DCU outfit, having been beaten by UCD in a pool game just days before the final. That being said, the influential Lindsay Peat was one notable absentee on that Friday clash. To the side of the court throughout the weekend and the season due to injury was DCU and Killester star Amy Russell who said that the initial loss to the Southsiders allowed for a reaction in the more pivotal clash on the Sunday.
“It really pushed us on to make sure that they didn’t beat us again. Because they (UCD) don’t play in the league, we haven’t met them before so we didn’t know what they were like. The first match was mainly getting to know how they played and see what they could do and they had a good game I have to say, they shot very well.”
The Glasnevin team also had last year’ disappointment on their side to fuel the hunger for the eventual glory.
“We lost in the semi-final last year and this year, once we got into the final, we were there to prove a point really that we should have made it to the final last year but we didn’t because we just crumbled under the pressure I think. This year we were there to prove that we were the best and that we were going to win the game.”
With a huge turnout throughout the weekend in DCU for the matches, the weekend was going to be a success for DCU basketball regardless of the outcome. However, winning in their home court made it all the sweeter, said Russell.
“It was fantastic to be able to play in the hall that we train in and there was a few people from the college who came and supported as well so it was really good to be in our own college with a fantastic atmosphere. We were delighted.”
With no departures of note to report from this year’s squad plus the inevitable arrivals of promising first years, not to mention the return of Russell herself, things certainly look very promising for DCU Ladies Basketball to cement their spot as the best in the country next year. However, whether or not the profile of the club will now receive the recognition it deserves is hard to tell.
“We’re not the biggest sport in Ireland, like the football and stuff. Even though we do so well and have such amazing players – loads of players on our team have played on an international level – I don’t think we’ll ever get the recognition that the football does because so much money and stuff is put into it. We’d love it if we were more funded because we obviously are so successful and there are really, really talented players on our team that should get more recognition, but I don’t know if that will happen.”
Image Credit: Aidan Broletti