Trinity Meteors hosted Swords Thunder on Friday evening in the Main Hall of the Sports Centre for their first home game of the season. Promoted by Trinity Sport in an effort to break the attendance record at a female basketball game, the match was a collaborative effort between Trinity and the 20×20 campaign. Due to a combination of the smell of freshly popped popcorn, which was free for all attendees, alongside the deafening roars which greeted the announcements of the teams, a true sense of occasion was created for what would turn out to be a true celebration of women’s sport.
It was clear from the off that this was going to be a competitive affair, as Trinity’s Kate McDaid competed fiercely for the tip off with Aoibheann Byrne of Swords. Anna Brennan of Swords and Lauren Grigsby of Trinity set the tempo early and were standout players in the first quarter. After a jittery start, it was Trinity who took an early lead, with Grigsby converting a free. Swords responded quickly through Brennan, and grew in comfort as the game went on, with Brennan and Niamh O’Donovan leading the charge.
The game was in danger of descending into a contest of free-throws, until a magnificent three-pointer for Trinity, scored by Edel Thornton, sparked it into life. Peggy Black of Swords responded with a three of her own, which was then met with yet another score from outside the D by the host team. Swords were asking questions, but Trinity had all the answers. Sarah Kenny of Trinity grew into the game as the first quarter went on, and laid the foundations for what would be a MVP performance, while McDaid was a leader on the court from the very beginning. The quarter was end to end, but towards its conclusion Trinity began to pull away, due in no small part to the introduction of Rachel Rice, and the brilliance of McDaid. 20 – 11 to Trinity at end of first quarter.
Trinity really began to make the game their own in the second quarter. Rice converted two frees to put Trinity further ahead, which was followed up by an unbelievable set of baskets by Niamh Kenny. First she delivered a three-pointer, then stole the ball on the halfway line and grabbed another score. Peggy Black had an answer for Swords through a free throw, but as was the trend of the game, Trinity did not allow Thunder any way back. Black’s free was met with an impressive three from Sarah Kenny, which was followed by another from Trinity’s Carolyn Binder. There were some bright sparks for Swords, epitomised by effective play from Peggy and Katie Black. While Grigsby and McDaid continued to stand out for Trinity, it was Anna Brennan who was acting as a driving force for Swords. However, in spite of her best efforts, following a brief intermission for a fire alarm and more magic from Sarah Kenny, the score was 49 – 30 to Trinity at the halfway mark.
Following some halftime festivities, which included an appearance from Trinity mascot Lunn the Lion and a children’s basketball game, Swords came back firing on all cylinders. The penultimate quarter began with a good score by Ash Sullivan. However, Niamh Kenny responded in a style which was typical of her overall game to make it 51 – 32. It was clear that the energy of both sides was beginning to wane at this stage, but Trinity’s Sarah Kenny kept battling, with a great score just on the wrong side of the three-point line. There was some wonderful basketball on show, as the influential trio of Grigsby, McDaid and Binder combined for a masterful basket. It was here that the gulf in class between the sides became really apparent, with Trinity somewhat running away with the game. Lauren Flynn was making quite an impact for the hosts through her movement on and off the ball, although Brennan of Swords was refusing to quit. The quarter ended 67 – 38 in favour of Trinity. At this point, it was hard to see a way back for the visitors.
The fourth quarter was an opportunity for the Meteors to show their class. Katie Garton of Trinity was beginning to steal the show, although Emma Kevany was having a similar effect for Swords. In any case, their respective introductions were bringing new life into the game. Trinity’s Eimear Mairtin was contributing with a couple of back to back free-throws, and although Kevany attempted to catalyse a comeback for Swords, ultimately it wasn’t to be. In the end, it was the Trinity Meteors, and the 20×20 campaign who claimed the victory. 92 – 49 the final score. The game undoubtedly served as a showcase for some incredibly talented individuals, and for women’s sport in general.