Meteors brought to earth

by Gazette Reporter

METEORS were denied a shot at the women’s Hula Hoops national cup title as reigning champions Team Montenotte Hotel proved just too strong last Friday at the Mardyke, winning out 77-61.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for the Cork side though, as Meteors dominated proceedings in the second quarter, enjoying a 10-0 run and taking a slender two-point lead into half-time.
However, the champions showed their character and grit as the game ticked on and this year’s final will now be a repeat of last year’s as Team Montenotte Hotel will once more face off to Pyrobel Killester.
Grainne Dwyer got the scoring under way with a three-pointer and a fast-paced and high-scoring first quarter followed, with good shooting from Jade Daly of Meteors and Claire Rockall for Montenotte.
Rockall added two more off the fast break, while Marie Breen created a touch of magic with the ball, somehow picking out Chantell Alford to send the Cork team further ahead. Then Katie O’Flaherty skipped inside for two for Meteors to close the quarter 20-17.
It was the second quarter when Meteors really came into their own, with McGuinness getting their period of dominance underway with two baskets in quick succession. Despite an impressive performance from Aine McKenna at the other end, it was all Meteors as Kate O’Flaherty rose high for three, with more points added shortly after by Jade Daly and McGuinness.
Fiona Meany extended their lead before McKenna finally broke their scoring run with a full court drive. A somewhat rattled Montenotte regrouped in the time out and soon began working their way back from the 10-point deficit, with Dwyer, Alford and McKenna all adding scores to leave them trailing by just two at half-time, 37-35.
Glanmire kept the pressure on as the second half got going, and a dazzling run from Dwyer saw her tee up McKenna close to the base line for two points to edge the Cork side in front.
Seconds later, Dwyer again pulled a rebound out of the clouds, and powered the ball up court to Rockall who found Alford, and she made no hesitation in slotting home yet another three-pointer. Montenotte were beginning to take control of proceedings, with Dwyer and Rockall intuitively knowing how to find each other, while Alford was dominating the scoreboard.
Despite good shooting from O’Flaherty at the other end, Haley Lenihan came off the bench for Glanmire and immediately made an impression, hitting two in a row straight away, and added her third basket when Alford picked her out from the opposite end of the court.
Despite hard work from Fiona Meany, Leer and Daly for Meteors, it just wasn’t enough, as Aine McKenna Dwyer, Alford and Rockall added scores to run out 77-61 point winners.

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