Mustangs bank silver and golds in Santander

Basketball

Mustangs in Spain: Karen Mulherin, Alfredo Vila Fernandez, Siobhan Kilkenny, Maria Flynn, Mary Grealish, Marla Candon, Aedin Nic Fhlannchadha, Sinead Hughes, Eileen Bradley with travelling fans Realta and Faolan Loftus

Mustangs in Spain: Karen Mulherin, Alfredo Vila Fernandez, Siobhan Kilkenny, Maria Flynn, Mary Grealish, Marla Candon, Aedin Nic Fhlannchadha, Sinead Hughes, Eileen Bradley with travelling fans Realta and Faolan Loftus

Mustangs basketball club competed in their fourth Santander International Masters tournament on the June bank holiday weekend, which saw over 40 international teams do battle for the respective titles.

It was another fruitful weekend for the posse of ladies. The Mustangs’ stalwarts of Siobhan Kilkenny, Sinead Hughes and Karen Mulherin were joined by the now familiar faces of Aedin Nic Fhlannchadha (Connemara ), Maria Flynn (Balyhaunis ), Mary Grealish (Galway ), Eileen Bradley (Chicago/Donegal ) and masters’ newbie, Marla Candon (Boyle/Brussels ).

There were eight teams competing in the over 40’s ladies category. Mustangs were grouped with Team Great Britain, Amide (Santander ) and Huesca (Barcelona region ). The other group included Champions Madrid, Swift Magic (UK ), San Jueves (Spain ) and Venice Spritz.

Mustangs played Team GB in their first group game and although it took a little court time together for the Mustangs to connect, they looked very polished as the game went on.

Mustangs had a comfortable win of 40-29, with Siobhan Kilkenny on a remarkable 19 points for the game. Aedin Nic Fhlannchadha and Maria Flynn also added generously to the scoreline with 8 points each for the game.

In the second group game, Mustangs met the home side, Amide, in a very physical battle. Frustrated Mustangs trailed for most of this game and having been 13 points down half way through the third quarter, Mustangs managed to level the game by the end of that quarter. The final quarter added to Mustangs’ frustrations and the home side had won the game by the final whistle.

With one loss, the Mustangs’ side showed their true mettle in another tough fought encounter against Huesca. In what seemed the longest game of the tournament, and following two match technicals and one unsportsmanlike foul, Mustangs came out clear winners on a scoreline of 53-20, with Sinead Hughes on 13 points, Kilkenny on 12 points, Flynn on 10pts, Marla Candon on eight points and Nic Fhlannchadha on six points.

With two wins and one loss, Mustangs were placed second in their group and qualified for the silver final on the Sunday.

In the silver final, Mustangs met Swifts Pick 'n' Mix team from the UK. Sunday morning may not have been the brightest of starts for the Mustangs’ side, but they had a super display when the light switch finally became functional.

Defensive work by Hughes on the opposition's top scorer left her scoreless for the remainder of the quarters, after Hughes marked her out of the game. Kilkenny had scored 20 points by the final whistle, with Flynn on 12 points, Candon on 10 points and Hughes on nine points, all contributing to the final score line of 55-36 and resulting in Mustangs being the highest scoring team of the tournament and victors of the silver final.

Mustangs have their next team masters in Galway in November, followed by Murcia Masters in December. Mustangs’ players Siobhan Kilkenny and Karen Mulherin will play as guests on the Glasnevin team in the Venice Masters at the end of June.

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