National Cup champions Ipswich stay on course for unbeaten season

Harriet Welham led Ipswich again with 30 points against Derbyshire. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

Harriet Welham led Ipswich again with 30 points against Derbyshire. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA - Credit: Archant

WNBL Division Two Ipswich 85 Derbyshire Gems 66 Ipswich Basketball Club’s Senior Women maintained their unbeaten season with an important win against the Derbyshire Gems, writes William Russell.

Danni Cazey drives into the key for Ipswich. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

Danni Cazey drives into the key for Ipswich. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA - Credit: Archant

After a week filled with celebrations and emotion due to their historic comeback victory in the National Cup Final, Ipswich could have been forgiven for starting the game slowly – which is exactly what happened.

Despite Ipswich’s perfect start to the season, Derbyshire came into the game with a 5-1 record, sitting comfortably in second place in the league table, in the knowledge that a win would put them joint top of the league with the Suffolk side.

So Ipswich needed to make sure they kept their concentration to pull off an important win.

Derbyshire, who boast the services of former GB Senior International, Jo Claydon, started the better of the two teams – opening up a 9-6 lead, forcing Ipswich to call a time out.

Amy Linton drives for Ipswich. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

Amy Linton drives for Ipswich. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA - Credit: Archant


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And when captain Amy Linton was withdrawn from the game due to injury, Ipswich were put under further pressure.

However, for all their talent, the most impressive things about this group of players is their character. The home side simply did not panic, adjusted and quickly erased the Derbyshire lead, opening up a 25-14 advantage.

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The second quarter saw Ipswich further extend their lead as they opened things up – taking a 44-30 lead into the half time break.

Derby bounced back with their highest scoring period of the game in the third, tying the period 22-22.

Ipswich's Danni Cazey wins the loose ball contest against Derbyshire. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

Ipswich's Danni Cazey wins the loose ball contest against Derbyshire. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA - Credit: Archant

But the fourth quarter saw normal service resumed, as Ipswich eventually wore down their opponents, winning the period by five points and taking the 85-66 victory. Harriet Welham led the way again with 30 points, backed by Maya Price’s 21 points and 18 rebounds. Ashleigh Pink racked up 14 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.

Ipswich head coach Nick Drane said: “There is still an awful lot of basketball to be played this season, we are technically not even half way through our league season so while all of this hype and attention is great for the programme, our ultimate goal is to win the division and secure promotion to Division One, and we haven’t done that yet!”

Ipswich are at home again this weekend when they host bottom of the table Nottingham Trent Wildcats at 3pm on Sunday.

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