Portlaoise Panthers 75
Trinity Meteors 71
THERE was no cup joy for Cork's Edel Thornton and Sarah Kenny as Portlaoise Panthers caused an upset in the Women’s Division One National Cup final when toppling favourites Trinity Meteors in a gripping encounter on Sunday afternoon.
Thornton, who scored 14 points and Kenny, who hit 12 both played well at times in this final but in the end, they came up short against a better team on the day.
The Panthers were superb in the opening exchanges and with American Trudy Walker dominating at the post they soon commanded an eight-point lead.
Meteors were struggling and despite Edel Thornton showing nice touches at the point her finishing when driving to the hoop was a little wayward as her side trailed 24-15 at the break.
On the restart Meteors began well with American Lauren Grisby shooting nice jumpers and the lead was reduced to four points midway through this period.
Once again, the Panthers recovered, and some excellent free flowing basketball saw them go in at the break commanding a 12-point lead 40-28.
A stunning Grisby three pointer gave Meteors the perfect start but they struggled up to midway before Edel Thornton nailed a superb shot outside the arc.
In the closing minutes of this period Meteors played up tempo basketball and Thornton brought the sides level at 54 points each with a minute remaining.
Portlaoise Panthers had the final say with two Walker free throws as they edged into a 58-56 lead entering final quarter.
Coming down the stretch both sides traded baskets with the sides level at 69 points each with 1.34 remaining.
Credit to the Panthers they saw out the game with four late Claire Melia free thows sealing the title for them.
Scorers for Portlaoise Panthers: T Walker 24, C Wheeler 15, G Wheeler 13.
Trinity Meteors: L Grisby 29, E Thornton 14, S Kenny 12.
Trinity Meteors: L Gigsby, R Rice, E Martin, C Binder, K Kilbride, L Flynn, K Garton, M Ryan, S Kenny, K McDaid, N Kenny, J Daly, E Thornton.
Portlaoise Panthers: T Walker, S Dooley, C Wheeler, L Blaney, C Byrne, D Tomlinson, S Burke, G Wheeler, J Burke, C Melia, G O’Reilly, H Collins, S Fleming.
Referees: C White (Dublin), U Kutijevac (Dublin), G Daly (Cork)