Bobcats take heart despite loss

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Ipswich Bobcats 48 Northants 52: Ipswich Bobcats Paserelle team entertained Northants in the latest National League Conference game at Maidenhall Sports Centre on Sunday.

Ipswich Bobcats Paserelle team entertained Northants in the latest National League Conference game at Maidenhall Sports Centre on Sunday. In a very keen and closely fought encounter Northants came out on top by 4 points winning 52-48.

The format of this type of competition is designed such that all players get court time with the emphasis on player development. Both teams have to play the first two quarters using two squads of five players with no substitutions. The second half sees Coaches mixing and matching all players

Ipswich started well with the first basket coming from the talented Lauren Lindsay but It soon became apparent that the very tall Northants players were going to cause the Bobcats quite a few problems and so it proved. Further baskets from Lindsay and Lois Nunn could not make up the difference and Ipswich trailed 9 – 15 at the end of the quarter.

The second quarter, with five different players, was fairly even when Victoria Brownsell's two early baskets were matched by three from Northants. Wayward shooting by both teams meant there was a lull in scoring until the final couple of minutes when Kerry Moore (4), Alice Dunne and Charlotte French scored baskets to keep the Bobcats in touch but trailing 19 – 23 at Half time.

The third quarter started with both teams fielding their strongest players and Northants, exploiting their height-advantage raced away to a 14-point lead by the 6th minute. Coach Alan Brownsell made some tactical substitutions, which had an immediate effect, and by the end of the quarter Ipswich had reduced the arrears to 9, trailing 31-40 but still very much in the game.

Encouraged by this late surge the Ipswich youngsters upped the pace and further baskets from Nunn (5) Lindsay and Stirling saw the deficit down to only 2. This recovery prompted a time out from the Northants coach and whatever was said it certainly worked as Northants came out fired up and surged back to a 10 points lead with three minutes to go. The game looked over but the Ipswich youngsters were not ready for that eventuality and once again clawed their way back and were certainly back in it with two minutes to go when they trailed by 4. However, despite some strong defence and excellent turnovers, their luck was not in as six or seven shots just failed to drop and Northants ran out winners by that 4-point margin 52-48.

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The Bobcats youngsters should feel encouraged by this performance in front on a good home crowd. They now have a couple of weeks to work on their weaknesses before they face Moulton and Croydon in the next round of matches at Maidenhall Sports Centre on Sunday February 3. First game tips at 12.15 p.m.

Ipswich Bobcats players and scorers: A. Dunne (3), L. Turnbridge (2), B. Brockman, K. Moore (2), V. Brownsell (4), V. Brown, C. French (4), K. Moore (4), R. Chambers, L. Nunn (14) and L. Lindsay (15)

Northants players and scorers: N. Sterling (2), C. Sterling, T. Newman (5), C. Gibbons (4), S. Cranston (3), A. Field (15), N. Saeed (10), L. Walsh (4), K. Vieyra, N. Westley (6), and K. Neale (3)

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