University of Limerick 71 Maxol WIT Wildcats 74
Maxol WIT Wildcats hobbled over the winning line with a 71-74 victory away to University of Limerick last Saturday night. Both teams were evenly matched in the early stages with many fine scores coming from UL Americans Kelsey Harris and Sarah Benedetti, which were matched by some wonderful scores from a number of Wildcats players.
As the game progressed Wildcats team captain Sinead Deegan and American WIT student Katie Fox closed down the UL American players, limiting them to fewer scoring opportunities.
At the same time Jazmen Boone, Helena Rohan and in particular Cathy Kavanagh hit top gear to leave Maxol WIT Wildcats up by 15 points at the break and looking like a comfortable victory was inevitable.
The third quarter had scarcely started when Katie Fox was in trouble with an ongoing hamstring problem, while Sinead Deegan playing with a strapped up ankle was also finding the going difficult.
Cathy Kavanagh through constant hard work picked up a couple of fouls and coach Mick Evans was forced to take her out and keep her for what proved to be a couple of crucial final minutes. At the end of the third quarter Katie Fox fell to the floor unable to continue and young Annie Fanning was then called into the fray.
UL were quick to spot that Wildcats were in trouble and upped their game, blitzing the Wildcats net with many amazing three pointers. With just five minutes left to play Wildcats were clinging on to a one point lead. The home side would have been well ahead but for several wonderful scores from “hot shot” Mel Stone. Limerick supporters must surely have felt this was their game for the taking, but Wildcats were not giving up easily as they battled like their very lives depended on victory in the nail biting final minutes.
Jazmen Boone, who finished the game’s top scorer on 31 points, made two to leave the game tied at 71-71. Then up stepped the December “Park Hotel award winner” Sinead Deegan to leave the UL net smoking with a last gasp winning 3-pointer. Wildcats walking wounded hobbled away with the points, which now leave them in a top four spot with four games to play , two at home and two away. There is no game this weekend because of the National Cup final (Glanmire v Killester) this Sunday at 5:15 on TG4. Wildcats will welcome the break in the hope that a good rest off the court will help sort out the injuries to both Deegan and Fox. Wildcats next game will be away to Meteors on Feb. 6th.