On Saturday, Fabplus North West proved no match for the Trinity Meteors in the Sports Centre. The hosts won their season opener convincingly 73-44 after an offensive explosion in the second half from Simone Hobdy.
Bleachers were set up to accommodate the crowd that arrived to support the home side’s first match since a partnership between Meteors Basketball Club and Trinity in June that amalgamated the two sides.
Trinity got off to a shaky start, giving up a layup straight from tip-off, to which two free throws were added by Ruta Balezentyke. North West’s offensive play was clinical in the early stages of the game, with fast-break opportunities aplenty from Trinity’s missed shots. Rebecca Rabeiro’s performance kept the home side afloat for the first few minutes, setting up a layup off a steal, as well as adding a few points herself.
Foul calls broke up the first quarter, with both teams forced to shoot from the line to get points on the board. Ciara Faherty and Raberio both added to Trinity’s tally to bring the score to 11-7 in favour of the visitors as Trinity began to look more confident following their somewhat shaky start. Quick ball movement from the Meteors allowed for them to capitalise on the position from missed free throws and they finished the quarter with a layup.
The back-and-forth continued into the start of the second quarter, with scores from Hobdy and a difficult long two from Rabeiro. The home side’s defence became more effective, with a four-point swing forced by Faherty’s steal and free throws on the other side of the floor. Hobdy continued to gather steam after this, scoring six rapid points and putting the Meteors ahead for the first time since tip-off.
North West managed to weather the barrage of Trinity layups with a three-pointer from Aisling Nee and free throws won by Jaelyn Tweedy as she drove to the rim, but it wasn’t enough to narrow the deficit. Trinity continued to push the pace of the game and Eimear Mairtin added three points from beyond the arc with a few seconds to go in the half. The Meteors went into the break 11 points clear of North West, with the score at 34-23.
It was more of the same from the emboldened home side in the second half, as Faherty and Raberio increased their lead, though they were giving up some good looks to North West from range. With Hobdy seemingly unable to miss, the visitors began to struggle on defence, though their energy on that side of the floor ensured that points weren’t handed to the Meteors. Going into the final quarter, Trinity had made the score 55-35 and the game looked all but over.
Three-pointers were traded by the sides early on, but clinical shooting from the home side ensured that there was never a real threat of a comeback from North West. Once again, fouls became more prominent as the visitors looked for a way to slow Trinity’s energetic offence, but the Meteors were confident shooting from the charity stripe and put the game away well before the final buzzer. The side’s captain, Fiona Meany, scored two free throws with 40 seconds to go to finish the game, securing the comfortable win in the Meteors’s first game as a Trinity-affiliated side.