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Ipswich Basketball Club wrap-up: Under 16 Girls reach National Cup final

The Ipswich team thank the crowd after their win the National Cup semi-final. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

The Ipswich team thank the crowd after their win the National Cup semi-final. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

Pavel.Kricka@btinternet.com

Just a week after Ipswich’s Senior Women achieved cup glory, the club’s Under-16 girls are heading to another National Cup final after two wins this weekend over Surrey Goldhawks, writes Rob Schatten.

Esther Little led Ipswich past the Surrey Goldhawks twice in two days. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA Esther Little led Ipswich past the Surrey Goldhawks twice in two days. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

Coach Hayley Rigby’s team kicked off with a 79-59 league victory on Saturday in a close and fast-past game. The hosts held an eight-point lead at half time, and although Surrey came out fighting in the 3rd quarter, Ipswich were able to pull out a 12-point lead heading into the final quarter.

A clinical fourth-quarter performance allowed Ipswich to finish the game with a 20-point lead ready to match up again with Surrey on Sunday in the Cup semi-final. Scoring was led by Esther Little (23), Ella Pearson (17) and Cameron Taylor-Willis (15).

Saturday’s game set the tone for Sunday’s encounter, Surrey fighting back hard after the previous day’s defeat. The end of the first quarter saw the visitors lead by five.

Ipswich were unable to find their defensive intensity until late in the second quarter which changed the tone of the game and saw Ipswich ahead by seven at half time.

Ella Pearson scores for Ipswich Under 16 Girls. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA Ella Pearson scores for Ipswich Under 16 Girls. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

In the second half, Ipswich settled into the game and found their rhythm to run out to a 10-point lead which was enough to fire them into the cup final on 24th February. Little top-scored again with 21, while Pearson added 20 and Taylor-Willis 11.

In the weekend’s other games, the Under-18s pulled off an important victory over visitors Bucks Hornets to keep their play-off hopes alive.

Ipswich blew the game open with a 29-point first quarter and didn’t let up from there on with a strong defensive performance.

Coach Kevin Manning and the Under-14 Girls came away from powerhouse programme Haringey Angels with a six-point loss despite a dogged performance from the Suffolk girls.

Ipswich's Susanna Rafiu makes the layup round the defense. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA Ipswich's Susanna Rafiu makes the layup round the defense. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

The Angels build a ten-point lead by the end of the third quarter and although Ipswich chipped away by winning the final frame, they couldn’t get close enough to extend the game. Annika Brown had 11 points, followed by Alicia Boddy and Millie Pearson on ten apiece.

The Under-14 Boys suffered from a torrid first quarter in Milton Keynes and were unable to recover from going down by 19 early on. Harrison Gregg scored 18 points, and Idriss Lebbie contributed 13.

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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