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Kings of Anglia Issue 8 Magazine Offer

‘You could make a movie out of this’ – the tale of Ipswich Basketball Club’s underdog National Cup win

PUBLISHED: 12:12 25 January 2018 | UPDATED: 12:12 25 January 2018

Ipswich Basketball Club's National Cup winners. Photo: Pavel Kricka

Ipswich Basketball Club's National Cup winners. Photo: Pavel Kricka

Pavel.Kricka@btinternet.com

If this sporting fairytale script was put to a film director it would probably be rejected for being too far-fetched.

Ipswich Basketball Club’s newly-formed women’s side won the National Cup on Sunday with a 67-58 win against the nation’s leading side, the Essex Blades, at the UEL Sportsdock, London.

This was a Division II North side, in their debut campaign together, beating no fewer than four top-tier teams – including Loughborough, Reading and Bristol – on their way to lifting the trophy.

Every single player hails from Suffolk and has come through the club’s youth ranks, with the average age of the squad 17 years and 11 months.

At one stage they were 17 points down in the final but dug deep to turn things around in front of more than 200 raucous travelling fans.

“Incredible, absolutely incredible – and to win it the way we did as well...” enthused head coach Nick Drane.

“It’s like Ipswich Town winning the FA Cup. You could make a movie out of this – and not just about what has happened on court.

“Every single one of these girls started out at one of our summer camps aged 12 and I’ve seen a lot of them go on heart-warming and heart-wrenching journeys over the last few years, not to be told in print.

“Essex Blades are an extremely well-funded and professional club. They are just about to open a new three-court, 2,000 seat arena at the cost of £12million. They’ve got two Americans on full-time scholarships.

“All power to them, that’s not a dig, but I’m just giving some context because we haven’t got 12 pounds let alone 12 million!

“This is a reminder to the sporting world that nothing beats developing young people. It’s far more satisfying to win like this than having a big budget and being able to recruit anybody.

“All the girls are here because they love playing for Ipswich and not because of any financial incentive.”

With Ipswich now chasing an historic treble, Drane added: “As a coach I’ve won junior national championships, a European silver medal with Great Britain and took the men’s team from Division Four to the Division Two Play-Offs, but this is the best team I have ever coached.”

Match report and pictures inside.

John Lewis is to stop selling DVD players. The “must have” technology of the first years of the 21st century is now officially redundant – here Paul Geater looks at but what might be next to bite the dust.

Preparations are under way to move four enormous electrical reactors for Suffolk’s billion-pound off-shore wind farm – weighing as much as 150 elephants – from Ipswich to Bramford.

There are long delays in and around the London Road area of Ipswich this evening following an earlier crash.

The woman tipped to temporarily take the reins at the region’s ambulance trust when the service’s chief executive steps down has a history of turning around a failing hospital.

A coroner has opened the inquest into the death of a 59-year-old man killed in a crash in Bramford.

Suffolk police are advising members of the public not to approach 46-year-old Anthony Smith who has absconded from Hollesley Bay prison.

The Great Plague returns to Ipswich this Halloween - but are you brave enough to find out more?

A motorcyclist has ben injured in a crash which has closed a busy Ipswich road.

Plans by an Anglian timber importer to develop a new business park on farmland in Hadleigh have been described as “woefully inadequate” by objectors.

A cyclist suffered multiple injuries during a crash with a car on the Shotley Peninsula.

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