It wasn’t a game for the purist but Liffey Celtics made history on the back of a gritty display to reach their first ever Irish women’s cup final
Speed overcame size in the early going of this Irish women’s cup semi-final. Liffey Celtics able to move the ball faster and create more good chances while DCU Mercy got frustrated far too easily. Despite looking much slicker on the ball, the stop-start nature of an opening quarter that dragged out badly prevented either side of developing any kind of rhythm. Liffey Celtics were good for their 21-16 lead but would feel they could have been up by more after 10.
Jazmen Boone in made a big difference. Coming back in and adding 5 points after sitting in the second quarter, bringing her to 16 for the game, and adding 2 assists, she was able to help Liffey Celtics extend their lead. For the bulk of the quarter DCU continued to struggle with some sloppy shot selection and point guard Jasmin Wooton failed to impose herself on the game. A three on the buzzer from Sarah Woods ensured DCU kept the deficit manageable at the break but a big improvement was needed.
Despite Aoife McDermott picking up her fourth foul early in the quarter, an improved showing on defence spurred a DCU Mercy comeback. A three from Sarah Woods cut the gap to just 4 points as Liffey Celtics looked under pressure. The mediocre performance of DCU’s offence however meant the comeback was stunted and Liffey Celtics were able to keep them at arm’s length heading into the final frame.
DCU simply couldn’t reel in Liffey Celtics. With both sides struggling on offence, Boone’s versatility proved decisive to guide Liffey Celtics to a first ever cup final. The former William & Mary player finished the night with 26 points, 6 steals, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists.
For Celtics it’s a tremendous step forward. Awaiting them in the final is a Glanmire side that will be overwhelming favourites to win it all. Having won the previous three titles, the Cork club is looking to make history by becoming the first side ever to go four in a row.
That challenge won’t scare Celtics. Right now they are playing with house money. The Kildare club would have bitten your hand off if you told them they’d make a cup final before the start of the season. That historic moment can never be taken away from this club. They have climbed higher than ever before. They get the chance to roll the dice again at the end of the month.