Ipswich crush league-leaders Bristol in best win of the season
WNBL Division One
Bristol Flyers 56
Ipswich followed their fantastic performance in last week’s 18-point win over second placed Solent Kestrels with another outstanding display, this time on the road to the league-leading Bristol Flyers.
Bristol visited Copleston back in October, and it was them who handed Ipswich their first loss of the season, and first loss in all competitions, for nearly 18 months.
That win seemingly gave Bristol some momentum as they built a nine-game winning streak and a comfortable lead at the top of WNBL Division One going into the return fixture against the Suffolk side.
However, the league leaders ran into an Ipswich side who simply played the best 40 minutes of their season. The Suffolk side has battled injury and illness all season, and went into the Christmas break with a 3-5 record, battered and bruised, very much in need of the mid-season break.
However, this team is made of stern stuff – led by the dynamic and inspirational play of the team’s, and perhaps the league’s, best player, Harriet Welham.
Ipswich started better, and although Bristol led briefly for less than a minute with the score at 11-8 mid-way through the first quarter, the visitors simply didn’t let up on their way to their biggest win of the season and the most eye-catching result by any team in the league. Welham was in an unstoppable mood, collecting 35 points to go with eight rebounds and eight assists, but it was far from a solo effort.
Danni Cazey had her best game of the season, collecting 26 points, including a career high six three-pointers, while Charlotte Redhead collected a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Academy players Esther Little, Becky Harwood-Bellis and Cameron Taylor-Willis all also made key contributions while captain Amy Linton had her best game of the season as the Suffolk side dominated from start to finish – holding the league favourites to just 15 second half points, and incredibly, only three in the final quarter).
Head coach Nick Drane said: “This was outstanding. We played three great quarters against Solent and four great quarters here today – the girls were brilliant.”
With wins over the league’s top two sides in consecutive weeks, Ipswich have evened their record at 5-5, and look poised for a fantastic second half of the season.