TRINITY Meteors were crowned Women’s Division One champions in style on Sunday afternoon in Leixlip as they ran out 80-65 point winners over Team Tom McCarthy’s St Mary’s of Castleisland in the league final.
The game certainly lived up to its billing, as the sides were neck-and-neck from the off with just one point separating the teams at half-time.
A huge start to the third quarter from St Mary’s saw them edge into the lead behind superb work from Emma Sherwood, Lorraine Scanlon and Denise Dunlea.
But Meteors weren’t behind for long and, led by taliswoman Edel Thornton and superb performances from Lauren Grigsby and Sarah Kenny, they edged back into the lead by four points going into the last.
It was raining threes for the Dubliners as the final quarter got underway though, with Thornton and Grigsby both draining a number of key shots from outside the arc.
Despite a superb comeback charge from St Mary’s, with Siofra O’Shea and Sherwood leading in superb fashion, it wasn’t to be, as Meteors became clinical on finishing and stormed home to league title glory and promotion back to the Women’s Super League with an 80-65 point win.
Speaking afterwards, Meteors’ Eimear Mairtin said: “It’s great to win. We’re delighted to get back up to the Super League. We lost the Cup this year, but it was all about consistency in the league for us and we only lost once in that, and that was against Castleisland.
“We knew this was going to be a tough game, so it’s nice to get the win and get back to where we wanted to be.”
The win came hot on the heels of a Saturday semi-final success over their National Cup nemesis, the Portlaoise Panthers, who they beat 80-63.
Sarah Kenny was simply outstanding, scoring 23 points as Meteors found some breathing space in the third quarter.
Trudy Walker’s 17 points kept Panthers in the game, but Kenny – who sank numerous three pointers in the period – along with Grisgby and Thornton kept the scores raining in for Meteors to see them lead 59-48 going into the last.
Portlaoise’s young stars Ciara Byrne and Ciara Wheeler ensured that Trinity couldn’t relax in the fourth quarter, but Kenny kept the Dubliners out in front to see them into Sunday’s final.
For Meteors coach Vinny O’Keeffe, it was a just reward for a stunning season: “Delighted about it; we had the best league record all year but the big fear was that would come back to haunt us and we wouldn’t be able to make it through to the Super League.
“Castleisland are a really good team and have the best defensive record by a mile so to score 80 points, win and get to the Super League. I am thrilled to bits.
“They are a fantastic team to work with and hopefully they will do us proud again next year.”