Bobcats' defeat

IPSWICH Bobcats gave an inspired performance but could not avoid a 98-71 defeat in an exciting quarter-final match in the Sureshot Junior Women's National Cup at Westbourne High.

IPSWICH Bobcats gave an inspired performance but could not avoid a 98-71 defeat in an exciting quarter-final match in the Sureshot Junior Women's National Cup at Westbourne High.

Bobcats made a determined start, when an incisive pass from Roxanne Chambers found Natasha Hall in open space to score the opening basket and Kerry Moore made a three-point play after being fouled by Erin Clarke on her way to the hoop.

Laura Brocklebank scored inside the key to give Bobcats an early 7-1 lead, but Lightning struck back with baskets by Clarke and Natasha Wesley to level the scores.

Bobcats captain Kerry Moore found herself in foul trouble after being called three times in the opening minutes, but Kirstie Moore and Roxanne Chambers proved to be reliable from the free throw line as both side quickly accumulated fouls in a hotly contested match.

Rosie Wowk came off the bench and scored a basket off a well worked offence, but the visitors scored four lay-ups in quick succession as they pulled away to lead 30-19 at the end of the first quarter.

Hall and Brocklebank both scored off strong inside moves but three baskets in quick succession by Hannah Scott-Evans stretched the Northants lead to 37-24 and forced Bobcats coaches Christel Macaudiere and Fay Greaves to call a time out.

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Hall scored again but the Lightning then pulled away to lead 43-26. Kerry Moore added six points from the line and although Chloe Moss scored three times in as many minutes for Lightning, the Bobcats locker room remained positive at the interval with Ipswich still in contention at 56-40.

Bobcats played their best basketball of the match in the third quarter with Natasha Hall scoring 14 of her game-high 29-point tally in this period and the Bobcats reduced the deficit to just nine points at 72-63.

The high foul count started to take its toll, and after Kerry Moore had fouled out in the third quarter, she was followed by Kirstie Moore and Natasha Hall early in the fourth, giving Lightning sufficient edge to add 10 points without reply and extend their lead to 82-63.

Poppy Fisk and Layla Weal both stepped up to take on the shooting guard role and Fisk's basket in the fifth minute kept alive Bobcats' hopes of an upset. Brocklebank capped a fine performance with a basket and pair of free throws to score 16 points, but Northants extended their lead during the closing stages to run out 98-71 victors.

Bobcats now have a three-week break over the Christmas period and return to National League action on Saturday, January 13 when they face Brixton Lady Topcats at Maidenhall at 4.15pm.

Ipswich Bobcats players and scores: N Hall 29, L Brocklebank 16, Kerry Moore 11, P Fisk 6, Kirstie Moore 4, L Weal 2, R Wowk 2, R Chambers 1, C Baker 0.

Northants Lightning players and scores: C Moss 19, N Wesley 19, E Clarke 15, H Scott-Evans 14, A Connor 11, L Jeffrey 7, H Moss 6, H Burgoine 5, H Jenner 2, G Patrick 0.

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