Bobcats hit rock bottom

BASKETBALL: UWIC Cardiff Flyers 63 Ipswich Bobcats 50: Ipswich Bobcats slipped to bottom place in the Women's National Conference when a disappointing performance in Wales against fellow strugglers UWIC Cardiff Flyers resulted in a 63-50 defeat.

UWIC Cardiff Flyers 63 Ipswich Bobcats 50

IPSWICH Bobcats slipped to bottom place in the Women's National Conference when a disappointing performance in Wales against fellow strugglers UWIC Cardiff Flyers resulted in a 63-50 defeat.

Bobcats made a poor start and that was to set the tone of the match. Kayleigh Read's three-pointer in the second minute was Bobcats' only success as the determined Flyers hit six baskets to take a 13-3 lead and force Ipswich coach Elaine Miller to call an early time out.

A gritty performance in the closing stages of the quarter saw Ipswich toughen up on defence and their more purposeful offence enabled Kirsty Clark and Laura Shemming to drive to the basket and reduce the deficit to 15-13.

Nicole Morris was proving to be Cardiff's principal threat but even her contribution of another two baskets at the start of the second quarter could not stop the resurgent Bobcats, as Line Brodie hit two mid-range baskets and Kirsty Clark made a three-point play after being fouled by Georgia Edmunds to give Bobcats a 20-19 lead.

However, that was to be the only time Ipswich would hold the lead as Cardiff added three quick baskets. Although Shemming, Read and Kirsty Banns fought back from the free throw line, the visitors still trailed 26-32 at the interval.

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Cardiff made a determined start to the third quarter when Morris combined with Ruth Murphy to pile on 13 points to stretch the deficit to 45-31 as the hosts exploited Laura Shemming's neck injury – which was to sideline the Ipswich captain for two minutes during this period.

Shemming recovered and responded with two baskets and a free throw, but with Cardiff's fast break becoming ever more effective, Flyers held a commanding 51-36 lead as the game went into the final quarter.

Shemming continued to be Bobcats' main scoring threat and she was ably supported by Lauren Lindsay, whose fifth minute basket reduced the deficit to 41-52.

Any hopes of a Bobcats' recovery were finally dashed when Murphy, Edmunds and Morris added three more baskets to give Flyers a 58-45 lead with just three minutes to play.

The despondent visitors could make no real impression as Cardiff ran out 63-50 winners to record their first win of the season and lift themselves above Ipswich in the Conference table.

Bobcats have another tough away match on Saturday when they travel to the East Midlands to face Nottingham Wildcats in another Women's National Conference fixture.

Nottingham earned an emphatic 81-40 victory when the sides met at Maidenhall on the opening weekend of the season, but have struggled since and currently have a 2-4 win-loss record.

The match will be played at the Jesse Boot Wildcats Arena and tips off at 6.30pm.

Ipswich Bobcats players and scorers: L Shemming 17, K Clark 13, L Brodie 8, K Read 6, C Dunne 3, L Lindsay 2, K Banns 1, K Button 0.

UWIC Cardiff Flyers players and scorers: N Morris 23, R Murphy 13. G Edmunds 9, V Flores 6, L Power 6, F Diffey 4, K Gregory 2, C Mattingley 0, A Rowlands 0, L Trott 0.

Women's National Conference results: Cardiff 63 Ipswich 50, Sheffield 87 Rhondda 60.

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