Bobcats earn their first league victory

IPSWICH Bobcats staged a strong second-half comeback to earn their first league win of the season with a 74-65 victory over Brixton Lady Topcats at Brixton Recreation Centre on Sunday.

IPSWICH Bobcats staged a strong second-half comeback to earn their first league win of the season with a 74-65 victory over Brixton Lady Topcats at Brixton Recreation Centre on Sunday.

Brixton made a determined start and lay ups and a free throw by Akra gave the home side an early 5-0 lead.

Kerry Moore opened the scoring for Ipswich, but her inside basket was Bobcats' only success in the first five minutes and they trailed 8-2 after Akra found White in open space to score a well worked basket.

Poppy Fisk came off the Ipswich bench to score two from the free throw line, but Akra continued to dominate inside and Bob-cats slipped to a 17-4 deficit before Kerry Moore closed the quarter with a pair of free throws after being fouled by White.

Baskets by Kirstie Moore and a lay up by Kerry Moore brought Bobcats back into contention at 19-12 and their inside game against a Brixton team lacking in height soon brought benefits. Two baskets by Laura Brocklebank and an inside score by Kerry Moore saw Bobcats recover to 21-18.

Careless cross court passes led to interceptions by James, allowing the Topcats' guard to exploit these with unchallenged drives to the basket.

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The Ipswich bench was confident at the interval with Bobcats trailing just 29-23, but Akra was on hand to extend the Brixton lead to eight points after the restart. A lay up by Layla Weal and two more baskets by Kerry Moore saw Bobcats recover to 31-29 before James and Akra kept Topcats in front with points from the line.

Bobcats edged 38-36 ahead after Kirstie Moore hit a big three-pointer and Kerry Moore and Brockle-bank both scored inside. White then scored to tie the scores.

Rosie Wowk was on hand to keep Bobcats in front with a score off an assist by Kerry Moore and Kirstie Moore calmly sank all three free throws after drawing a critical fourth foul from Akra.

The match was set for an exciting finale with the score tied at 44-44 going into the final quarter.

Roxanne Chambers sco-red from the tip off to put Ipswich back in front. Successive baskets from Timpong, James and Akra gave Brixton a four point advantage. Kirstie Moore was playing an all court game, dominating the boa-rds while proving equally effective outside the key and her second three-pointer brought Bobcats back to within a point. The lead changed hands again when Kerry Moore made a three-point play after a foul by Timpong. But Brixton's influential captain White scored twice and made two assists to James to give Topcats a 58-53 lead with under five minutes to go.

Kirstie Moore scored inside and Layla Weal scored a sensational reve-rse lay up to keep Bobcats in contention, but free throws by Akra after the Brixton forward drew an important fourth foul from Kerry Moore meant Ips-wich still trailed 60-57 with just over three minutes remaining.

Kirstie Moore hit two from the line to seal a season's best performance of 22 points and 19 rebounds, but Akra scored to keep Brixton three points ahead.

Ipswich responded well to the final time out and stepped up their game to totally dominate the closing stages. Weal scored two from the line and five successive baskets from Kerry Moore and Laura Brockle-bank saw Bobcats finally break free to go 71-62 in front.

White scored for Brixton with just over a minute remaining to keep the final outcome in doubt, but a final lay up by Kerry Moore saw the Bobcats' captain secure a game high tally of 26 points and lead her team to a hard fought and long-awaited first league win of the season with a 65-74 victory.

Bobcats now have the opportunity to build on their success and face a busy weekend with two RAF Junior Women's Nat-ional League fixtures.

They travel to Wodson Park, Ware, on Saturday to face Essex & Herts Leopards for a 12.15pm tip off and take on Chiltern Pumas at Maidenhall at 2.30pm on Sunday.

Ipswich Bobcats players and scores: Kerry Moore 26, Kirstie Moore 22, L Brocklebank 12, L Weal 7, R Chambers 3, R Wowk 2, P Fisk 2, C Baker 0

Brixton Lady Topcats players and scores: R James 23, V Akra 21, K White 15, R Timpong 3, I Bilson Graham 2, J Martin 1, C Aubee 0, S Barratt 0, J Blackwood 0.

Results: Brixton Lady Topcats 65 Ipswich Bobcats 74, Essex & Herts Leopards 67 Southend Swifts 75, Sevenoaks Suns 73 Haringey Angels 72, Wandsworth Sting 83 Chiltern Pumas 28.