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Ireland U20s stun Croatia to reach FIBA European Championship semi-final

The Ireland women’s team will take on Bulgaria in Saturday’s semi-final showdown.

THE IRELAND WOMEN’s basketball team enjoyed an upset victory over Croatia to reach the FIBA U20 Women’s European Championship Division B semi-final in Kosovo last night. 

Ireland ran out 66-53 winners against Croatia to seal top spot in their group in Round 2, following earlier wins over Ukraine and Great Britain. 

They’ll take on Bulgaria in the last four at 3.30pm on Saturday, with promotion to Division A on the line for the winners. 

Dayna Finn top-scored with 20 points, Enya Maguire notched 11 points, three rebounds, two steals and two assists, while Claire Melia bagged a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. 

Speaking afterwards, head coach Martin Conroy stated: “It’s fantastic. The turnaround from yesterday’s game to today just shows the character in this team – they’re absolutely phenomenal.

“Their work rate on defense today was phenomenal, we knew if we hung around up to the fourth quarter we could take this team. We hit a huge three in the corner – I think we were nine up at the time – and Sorcha (Tiernan) hit a huge three to see us up 12 and that really killed off any chance of Croatia coming back into the game.

“They’re now into a second semi-final in three years, it’s an unbelievable group of athletes and we look forward to Saturday now.”

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