Busy closing weekend for Bobcats

IPSWICH Bobcats had a busy closing weekend to the season, and in the first of two RAF Junior Women's National Basketball League matches they could not prevent a 78-54 defeat to Essex & Herts Leopards when the sides met at Wodson Park, Ware on Saturday afternoon.

IPSWICH Bobcats had a busy closing weekend to the season, and in the first of two RAF Junior Women's National League matches they could not prevent a 78-54 defeat to Essex & Herts Leopards when the sides met at Wodson Park, Ware on Saturday afternoon.

Leopards' early domination saw Ziana Bofenda and Ella Clark fire the home side to an 11-0 lead before Kerry Moore opened Bobcats' account with a three-pointer.

Leopards responded with a basket by Katie Harris but Laura Brocklebank and Poppy Fisk helped keep Bobcats in contention and they trailed just 16-11 at the end of the first quarter.

Leopards showed why they had reached the play offs with some well-drilled basketball in the second quarter, with Ella Joines, Kimberley Pringle and Collings James all scoring twice in the first five minutes as Essex & Herts stretched their lead to 30-17.

Kerry Moore found the basket to end a three-minute barren spell for Bobcats and Laura Brocklebank scored inside off a fine assist by Chloe Baker.

Harris, Collings James and Bofenda then all scored in quick succession to keep Leopards ahead at 38-23 but a three-point play by Kerry Moore after drawing a foul from Michelle Uyinnwen reduced the deficit to 12 points.

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Joines scored a three-pointer off the final offence, but Ipswich were not disheartened despite trailing 41-26 at the interval and they made a determined start to the third quarter.

Two baskets by Kirstie Moore were soon followed by an inside score by Kerry Moore as Bobcats quickly cut the deficit to 41-32.

Harris scored twice from the line but Ipswich maintained their momentum with baskets by Layla Weal, Laura Brocklebank and Kirstie Moore to bring Bobcats to within five points at 43-38.

Leopards coach Ken Harris called a time out and his side responded with renewed confidence, adding 15 unanswered points in a four minute spell as Bobcats failed to deal with the full court press.

Kirstie Moore scored to end Leopards run but a second three-pointer by Joines and a lay up by influential point guard Julia Colley gave Essex & Herts a 61-40 lead as the match went into the final quarter.

Brocklebank continued to impress for Bobcats scoring three further baskets to secure a 14 point haul, and although Roxanne Chambers scored to help Ipswich recover to 68-50, a late run of baskets saw Leopards extend their lead to secure a hard fought 78-54 victory.

Ipswich Bobcats players and scores: Kerry Moore 22, L Brocklebank 14, Kirstie Moore 12, R Chambers 2, P Fisk 2, L Weal 2, C Baker 0, R Wowk 0.

Essex and Herts Leopards players and scores: J Colley 15, E Joines 15, K Harris 14, Z Bofenda 11, E Clark 8, K Pringle 8, D Collings James 7, M Uyinnwen 0.

IPSWICH Bobcats gave their most convincing performance of the season when they overcame Chiltern Pumas with an emphatic 94-37 victory when the sides met in the RAF Junior Women's National League at Maidenhall on Sunday.

Bobcats were keen to put what had been a largely disappointing season behind them and gave an inspirational display to end the junior careers of a number of players who will not be eligible next season.

Kerry Moore gave a captain's display from the start, scoring twice in the opening minute and although Abi Upfield and Helen Bloomfield hit successive lay ups to tie the scores, Laura Brocklebank, Layla Weal and Kirstie Moore all made early impressions on the score sheet as Bobcats quickly raced to a 16-7 lead.

Becky Ponnuthurai scored a lay up for Pumas but baskets by Rosie Wowk and Poppy Fisk gave Bobcats a 20-9 advantage and four more baskets by Kerry Moore sealed a 16 point first quarter tally for the Ipswich guard as she led her side to a 28-9 lead.

Bobcats continued to dominate at the start of the second quarter, with Kirstie Moore and Laura Brocklebank freely scoring off well worked inside moves and profiting from assists by Roxanne Chambers.

Ipswich kept Chiltern at bay for seven minutes and by the time Beth Portland went to the line to score two free throws, Bobcats had extended the lead to 44-9.

Rosie Wowk scored twice in the closing stages of the second quarter on her way to sealing a season high tally of 12 points and a basket by Kirstie Moore from an assist by Brocklebank gave Bobcats a commanding 52-16 lead at the interval.

Ipswich coaches Christel Macaudiere and Fay Greaves had little to add at half time other than to ask their side to continue the fine form the entire team was displaying and Bobcats resumed with renewed vigour at the start of the third quarter.

Chloe Baker was rewarded for the gritty and determined game play she had demonstrated throughout the season with a three-point play after drawing a foul from Michelle Duffy and baskets by Kirstie Moore, Wowk, Brocklebank and Kerry Moore extended the lead to 65-20.

Ponnuthurai hit two from the line but Fisk and Brocklebank both scored two more baskets to put the result beyond doubt with Bobcats holding a 75-27 lead as the match went into the final quarter.

Wowk scored twice and Kirstie Moore hit two more baskets to secure 14 points and 15 rebounds in another fine performance to end her junior career.

Layla Weal made her sixth assist of the match as Poppy Fisk scored twice in quick succession. Fisk became the fifth Ipswich player to score double figures in the match, hitting five baskets from only 6 attempts and Laura Brocklebank secured a season high 20 point tally.

Kerry Moore was on hand to net a 33-point total when she scored a basket and free throw.

This brought an era of Bobcats' history to a close with the current crop of juniors going out in style with a great all round performance to seal a much-deserved 94-27 victory.

It will now be down for league officials to decide the outcome of Bobcats' unplayed game, also against Chiltern, which could yet see Bobcats rise to sixth place despite residing at the foot of the table for much of the season.

Ipswich Bobcats players and scores: Kerry Moore 33, L Brocklebank 20, Kirstie Moore 14, R Wowk 12, P Fisk 10, C Baker 3, L Weal 2, R Chambers 0

Chiltern Pumas players and scores: B Portland 11, B Ponnuthurai 7, H Bloomfield 7,E Proestos 6, E Harris 2, M Duffy 2, A Upfield 2, S Thorn 0

Results: Essex & Herts Leopards 78 Ipswich Bobcats 54, Haringey Angels 76 Southend Swifts 47, Ipswich Bobcats 94 Chiltern Pumas 37.

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