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National Cup champions Ipswich stay on course for unbeaten season

PUBLISHED: 13:53 29 January 2018 | UPDATED: 13:53 29 January 2018

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

Pavel.Kricka@btinternet.com

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

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

And when captain Amy Linton was withdrawn from the game due to injury, Ipswich were put under further pressure.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

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

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.

David McGoldrick is likely to miss the rest of the season after suffering a groin injury in training, raising the question of whether he has played his final game for Ipswich Town.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy felt his side were on the end of two harsh refereeing decisions in tonight’s 1-0 home defeat to Cardiff City.

There was a sense a toxic atmosphere awaited manager Mick McCarthy as the Blues faced Cardiff following the weekend’s events at Norwich.

Ipswich Town put in a much-improved display but were ultimately beaten 1-0 at home by Cardiff. Sports writer Andy Warren hands out his player grades.

Kenneth Zohore’s scrappy goal proved the difference in a much-improved performance from the Blues but Cardiff leave Portman Road with all three points,.

Kenneth Zohore’s scrappy goal proved the difference as Cardiff left Portman Road with three points, on a night where Ipswich Town put in a much-improved display in front of their home crowd.

Ipswich Town will be looking to put their East Anglian Derby heartbreak behind them when Cardiff City visit Portman Road.

We have assembled a group of Town fans to predict the outcome of Ipswich games and have their say on what’s going on at Portman Road.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says he’s ready to start experimenting with his side now that a Championship play-off place looks out of reach.

Bartosz Bialkowski and Ipswich Town still have ‘a couple of things to sort’ before the Polish goalkeeper signs his new contract with the club.

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