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Dublin: 8 °C Friday 6 December, 2019

From epic buzzer-beater to mid-interview row - Dwyer sisters star in historic win

Fr Mathews were crowned Basketball Ireland Women’s Champions Trophy champions yesterday.

THE DWYER SISTERS, Gráinne and Niamh, are names synonymous with Irish basketball.

Two legends of the game, there have been good days and bad days, but yesterday was most definitely a good one for the Fr Mathews sisters.

Fr Mathews celebrate after the game Fr Mathew's celebrate winning. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

The Cork outfit were crowned Champions Trophy champions after a dramatic 83-70 overtime win over Courtyard Liffey Celtics. It was a historic one, rounding off Fr Mathew’s first year in the Super League nicely.

Gráinne, perhaps, stole the show with a remarkable buzzer-beater to tie the game at 66 points a piece, leading to overtime. That outstanding three-pointer was the highlight of her outstanding 31-point, MVP-winning display; her leadership, grit and determination coming to the fore throughout.

Niamh, meanwhile, was also excellent, and took the reins in overtime as her early points got Fr Mathews’ noses in front and they drove on to hard-earned success from there.

The dynamic duo who hail from Tipperary, have been leading the way at the Leesiders of late, both making the move from cross-city rivals Glanmire recently. Niamh went first, and Gráinne followed ahead of this season after 10 years there. A change was needed.

Both with huge personalities, we’ve seen those shine through time and time again through the years. “There’d be games where I’d be telling her to eff off,” as Gráinne told The42 in January. “It’s not anything malicious, it’s just our passion.” 

And that was front and centre once again yesterday.

When all was done and dusted, Gráinne joked in an interview with Basketball Ireland that her superb buzzer-beating three-pointer was planned. Then she went on to tell of a similar incident earlier this year that involved Niamh — and it didn’t end quite as well.

“I actually don’t know how it went in,” she grinned before her sister jumped in for a cameo appearance mid-interview.

“She said when we played DCU, ‘Here you didn’t pass me the ball, thank God you did tonight’ — that’s what she said to me!”

Thank God, indeed.

“Look, it’s been an amazing season,” Gráinne then reflected. “It’s been a little bit of a roller coaster for us. We planned to peak at cup, and it was a step back for us.

Aine O'Connor with Grainne Dwyer Gráinne on the ball yesterday. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

donaghy Source: Kieran Donaghy Twitter.

“But I think it made us into the team we are today. The reason we’ve been playing so good for the last four or five weeks — you have to fail to win.

“We failed miserably at Christmas and it’s after making for the icing on the cake today.”

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Emma Duffy

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