Basketball - Double wins for Ireland in Luxembourg as Senior Women's and Men’s teams storm home to victory

There were big celebrations for the Irish in Luxembourg this afternoon as both the Irish Senior Women’s and Men’s teams stormed home to victory in their games against the hosts earlier today.

Mark Scannell’s charges were the first to take to the court and put in a superb display across the four quarters to ensure a 65-74 point win over the Luxembourg side. Top-scoring from Mimi (Michelle) Clarke, Grainne Dwyer and Claire Rockall was the difference on the day, with fantastic defence across the court from Claire Melia and Edel Thornton also adding to the road to victory.

Speaking about the three games over the weekend, Coach Scannell stated: “It’s been a huge learning curve for us. I thought we played really well on Friday night, and it was tiredness that got to us down the stretch, but we did very well. I don’t think we played particularly well on Saturday, we just didn’t execute in the second half and they were very good. We had a chat about it, and changed one or two little things and today, I thought the girls were excellent.

"They played defence brilliantly and got back to the way we normally play, shutting down Luxembourg’s key players… I thought we got a lot of things right today. I’m delighted. We really needed the international games, and we will learn a lot from them.”

The men’s game saw the Irish squad made a superb turnaround from a 22-8 point deficit at the end of the first quarter to run out 74-57 point winners in the end. John Carroll was the shining star, bagging 27 points for the visitors, with Adrian O’Sullivan, Lorcan Murphy and Ciaran Roe also impressing.

Speaking about the two-game series, Head Coach Pete Strickland stated: “As a coach when you win a game you kind of think, well, why didn’t we win the other one? As a coach, there were a few adjustments we had to make from last night’s game. Luxembourg are a very good shooting team – so for our guys to make adjustments and really exploit some of their weaknesses in such a short time was very enocouraging.

“I found out a lot about this team over the weekend - two games when it really counts, when they’re putting on the kit with 'Ireland' written on the front is really huge. We got a lot of answers from the weekend – we had a lot of questions after last night’s game, but a lot of answers too and I'm really pleased with that."