The Trinity Meteors suffered a tough defeat at the hands of the WIT Wildcats in their third game of the 2021/2022 Super League on Saturday afternoon.
The Meteors managed to make a strong start in the opening minutes, boosted by the encouragement of a vocal home crowd. Taking the lead through well-taken shots from Sinead Keane and Rebecca O’Keefe, the Trinity team found themselves 6-0 up in the opening minute. However, it wasn’t long until the Wildcats found their footing and began to make up ground in the first quarter.
Some excellent intercepting and composed shooting from Rachel Thompson brought the Wildcats back into the game, with Jazmine Walker and Kate Hickey also contributing to put the away team into the lead at 6-8. Thompson and Walker dominated the court for the majority of the game, with their pace and accuracy in offense causing problems for the Meteors’ defensive tactics.
Having given up their early lead, the confidence of the Trinity side appeared to waver, with some easier opportunities being missed from layups and free-throws before the end of the first quarter. In contrast, the Wildcats were much more clinical, putting away chance after chance to give the away team a 6-20 lead going into the second quarter.
The Meteors failed to gain back much ground throughout the second quarter. Despite adding some points to their tally through Sarah Kenny and A’Lexxus Davis, the Wildcats were clinical in their fast breaks, making the most of some sloppy passes by the Trinity team. The Meteors found themselves 21-39 behind by the end of the second quarter, having had more joy going forward but remaining exposed defensively.
The Wildcats extended their lead throughout the third quarter, being more aggressive in their defence and managing to steal the ball much further up the court to allow for uncontested fast breaks. The Meteors only managed to increase their points tally by seven throughout the quarter, with points being scored by O’Keefe and Kenny. The offensive prowess of the Wildcats was readily apparent throughout this period in the game, with the away team working the Meteors’ defence from side to side to make room for their prolific sharpshooters Thompson and Walker. The Meteors faced a large points deficit heading into the final quarter, trailing their opponents 28-57.
Despite the significant gap in the score line, the Meteors appeared to enter the final quarter with the intention of finishing strong. Keane was the star performer for the home side in the final minutes, drawing fouls and being clinical in her shooting in an attempt to reduce the points deficit. However, the Wildcats’ offensive domination continued throughout the fourth quarter, with Walker and Thompson again pulling the strings. Despite a strong finish, the final scoreline of 43-72 in favour of the Wildcats was a fair reflection of the performances of both teams.
Speaking to The University Times after the game, head coach Vinny O’Keefe shared his thoughts on his team’s tough defeat:
“I’d seen them before, and they were a very aggressive, fast and physical team and they run and pressure all over the court. I had feared that if we weren’t able to clear the ball and stop their fast play that we were going to have a long day, and that’s what happened. They pressed us into too many mistakes and they were able to get at us with fast breaks and that was the difference. They ran us off the court today and that was the difference”.
The meteors will have one weeks rest before they go again on November 6th at home against Brunell Basketball Club.