Maree finished off an incredible 2018/19 season unbeaten on Sunday afternoon when they picked up their fifth title of the season after overcoming Ulster University Elks and were crowned Women’s D1 League Cup champions.
Joe Shields’ side, which had already earned promotion to the Women’s Super League for next season, were led by a superb 31-point game from MVP Claire Rockall in a dazzling performance from the Irish international. Indeed, Rockall had a super supporting cast in Dayna Finn, Maggie Byrne, Carol McCarthy and Catherine Connaire, and they held off a strong Elks side to see home a memorable win.
Maree did the most damage in the opening quarter though, as they ran out into 27-13 point first quarter lead with super scores from Connaire and Rockall seeing them dominate at both ends of the floor.
A much closer second quarter followed with Enya Maguire finding superb form and big work on defence helping them to force Maree turnovers. However, Elks’ free throw shooting woes began in earnest in this quarter, as they went into the half time break having missed six from 15 attempts in the half, and trailed Maree 36-29.
Again, it was another intense and fast-paced third quarter that followed, with Maguire shooting strong for Elks, while Scarbrough added some great baskets to close the gap further. With Dayna Finn in foul trouble at the other end, Elks began to get some better looks and began to punish Maree, but again it was Rockall to the fore for Maree. Some big scores from her, along with a great basket from Carol McCarthy, pushed them into a 55-47 point lead going into the last quarter.
Elks, however, were not going down without a fight, and a huge fourth quarter followed. With Finn and Rockall both in foul trouble, Scarbrough begin to exert her dominance under the boards. Huge scores from Maguire and Aoife Callaghan, along with super defence from Alex Mulligan and Seana Harley Moyes, saw the gap closed right back down to a one-possession game.
McCarthy settled Maree at the other end though, adding a huge nine points in this quarter to help keep her team’s nose in front. Despite Elks throwing everything in the tank at them, Maree held on in the face of the offensive onslaught to be crowned women’s division one league champions in style.
Maree : Carol McCarthy (11 ), Dayna Finn (12 ), Claire Rockall (31 ), Catherine Connaire (13 ), Fiona Scally, Orlaith Walsh, Maggie Byrne (6 ), Nicola O’Connell, Alison Blaney, Laoise Walsh, Sacra Mannion.