Sheffield Hatters maintained their top position this weekend with a 88-79 win against Nottingham Wildcats whilst Cardiff Archers picked up their first win of the second phase of the season against Loughborough Riders. Team Northumbria won their second consecutive contest against Barking Abbey and Manchester sneaked a home win against Sevenoaks.
Sheffield Hatters 88-79 win against Nottingham means they are now three games clear in the fight for the league title. A basket for basket first half between the two teams meant the game was up for grabs in the second half, however Sheffield began to build a lead in the third and a 34 point performance from Lauren Thomas-Johnson secured a 9 point win for the Hatters.
Impressive performances from Wildcat’s Adrien Ritchie (25) and Siobhan Prior (23) kept all four quarters competitive despite falling short at the end of the game. Steph Gandy and Helen Naylor combined for 3o points and Mihalyi added 15 for the Wildcats.
Loughborough Riders missed a chance to move ahead of Cardiff in the league table, losing 66-48 at the Archers Arena. A strong start from the home team gave them a 10 point lead after the first quarter. The Riders were unable to chip away at the Cardiff lead in the second quarter, leaving them much to do in the second half as the score stood 40-28.
The Archers continued to maintain the lead throughout the third despite a low scoring quarter for both and continued to control the game well into the fourth.
Loughborough Riders Head Coach Matt Harber commented on his team’s performance after the game:
“Incredibly disappointed with our performance today. We achieved nothing we set out to and that is clearly reflected in the score line. Credit to Steph and Cardiff because they came in with clear objectives and did what it took to get it done. This performance comes at a crucial time of league play and we missed and opportunity here.
“However, our group have done a good job over the past few weeks and were determined not to let this loss influence our progress”.
Collins led the Archers with 16 points, followed by Jenkins with 12. Kirschbaum scored 13 for Loughborough.
Manchester Mystics managed a nail biting two point win against Sevenoaks. The home side had the advantage after the first quarter but a 26-13 second quarter for the Suns gave them a seven point lead at half time. Manchester continued to trail throughout the third quarter, but a 17-7 fourth quarter and a FongLyewQuee layup with just 2.1 seconds left of regulation pushed them over the line, putting them top of the 5th-8th place pool.
FonglyewQuee finished with 17 points, accompanied by Hannah Shaw with 12 points and 13 rebounds and 17 from Shantrell Moss. Catt Carr finished with 20 points, 10 points and 8 rebounds for the Suns, while Keisha Wright had 14 points.
Barking Abbey were unable to get their second win in as many weeks when they lost 55-70 to team Northumbria. Northumbria took an early 6 point lead and an impressive defensive performance from the home side meant Barking managed just 9 points over the second and third quarter as Northumbria moved into a 51-26 lead. a 29-19 fourth quarter meant Barking ended on a much better quarter, however it was not enough to chance the result.
Hulme finished with 17 points for Northumbria, followed by 16 from Spotwood and 14 from Clark. Roz Mason led Barking with 15 and Walton and Adebayo both had 10.
Loughborough will be looking to bounce back this weekend when they host top of the league Sheffield Hatters, whilst joint second Archers and Wildcats will play at the Archers Arena. Barking Abbey play Sevenoaks and Team Northumbria host Manchester.