Ireland finish with a flourish to seal Final spot, Luxembourg await after dominant display
NICOSIA (Cyprus) - The Final of the 2021 FIBA Women's European Championship for Small Countries is set after Ireland and Luxembourg came through their Semi-Finals on Saturday in contrasting fashion.
Ireland made up for a slow start with a dominant finish as they poured in 32 points in the fourth quarter to help secure an 86-72 success against Kosovo - having trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half.
Fiona O'Dwyer helped lead the way with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists with Sorcha Tiernan adding valuable support of 19 points along with all-round contributions from Dayna Finn and Claire Melia.
Kosovo started brighter as they led 26-18 after 10 minutes before moving into a double-digit lead in the second. Ireland gradually worked their way back into the contest, but still trailed with 3:31 remaining before scoring the final 15 points to take the victory.
Ireland are a win away from their first title at the event and face Luxembourg in Sunday's Final after the 2018 runners-up powered past Malta for an impressive 89-46 win.
Luxembourg had put 50 points on the board by half-time as they went into the interval having doubled up their opponents to take control. The gap narrowly increased in the third before a strong finish took the lead beyond the 40-point barrier.
Anne Simon top scored with 19 points to go with 4 assists and 4 steals with Nadia Mossong adding 16 points and 9 rebounds to help their side cruise through in search of re-claiming the title they last won in 2006.
Earlier, Cyprus bowed out on a high with the hosts enjoying an 87-36 victory over Andorra in the 5-6 Classification Game as Stavroula Koniali starred with 26 points, while Petra Orlovic added 16 points and 9 rebounds.