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31st March 2004 - Ulster Cup

At the end of the most closely contested women’s season for over a decade, the women’s cup final saw the experienced Lisburn Scorpions team led by veterans Anne Wynne, Breda Dick and Donna Mason face QUB in their first final of any sort for many years. It was to prove to be the most exciting girls basketball match seen in the province for years. With their three Americans leading the charge, QUB opened up an early lead. Marina Skromboulas' inside rebounding and shooting proved too much for Lisburn's defence as the students notched up an 8 point lead, the biggest margin of the whole game. Sligo player, Emer Owens wreaked havoc in and outside the Scorpion's key throughout the first half. UBA chairman Fergus Woods looked stunned as he tried to get his team back on track. Debbie Hughes entered the court and Lisburn's outside game swung into action as they fought their way back to trail by 4 points at half time. As the Scorpion’s supporters turned up the volume, the irrepressible Breda Dick marshalled her team for the third quarter getting several key steals. With 2 minutes to go in that period Lisburn finally took the lead. As the last phase of play started Queens dropped further behind as Hughs, Dick and Wynne found the opposition's weak spots. Down by 5 and with five minutes to go, Owens and the American trio made a determined push. With point guard Alissa Lange scything through the Lisburn press, Owen’s aggressive driving and Skromboulas’s boards work keeping the students in touch, Californian exchange student Margaret Boehme finally found her outside shooting which had deserted her all night. Queens nudged ahead and with a point in it the lead changed hand five times in the last two minutes. An interception by Lange was finished off by Boehme to give Queens a four point lead with 30 seconds to go, but then Skromboulas fouled out and Lisburn went to the line. The pressure told and both free throws were missed. With two seconds to go a last gamble on a 3 point play for Lisburn failed and QUB lifted their first ever Ulster trophy, 56-52. Referees Murray Lee and Deirdre O’Connor voted jointly that Emer Owens and Alissa Lange should share the Most Valuable Player award for the night.

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