Drane confident Ipswich can turn season around after latest defeat
- Credit: Archant
WNBL Division One Southwark Pride 67 Ipswich 59 Ipswich battled hard but could not overcome a poor second and third quarter, falling to their third consecutive defeat in WNBL Division One at the hands of Southwark Pride.
The Suffolk side, who were led by Charlotte Redhead’s 17 points and Danni Cazey’s 16, now have four weeks off before their next game, a much needed mid-season break for a team that has battled injury and illness for a lot of the first half of the season.
Ipswich started the season winning their first two games, beating Oxford at home in convincing fashion before their most impressive win to date, a four point victory – with just six fit players – on the road to highly rated Solent.
However, since then, the team has won just two games and has dropped five, with the Oxford win since being taken back due to them withdrawing from the league.
“I’m not going to lie, Christmas can’t come soon enough for us – we need a rest” said Ipswich coach Nick Drane. “People inside the team know how much we have already been through this season.
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“To some on the outside, I’m sure there are people that are enjoying seeing us struggling, especially after last season. There will be people that have no clue of the transition we have been through, from Division Two to Division One, the and loss of two international level players, plus the injuries, illness and other issues we have faced.”
Since last season’s MVP Harriet Welham picked up an injury that could and probably should have sidelined the 21 year old, the team has lost four straight, three in the league and one in the cup.
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However, with Welham playing on one leg, the Ipswich team has still battled top level teams such as Loughborough, Anglia Ruskin and Southwark right up until the wire, and Drane is hoping the month off will do Welham, and the whole team good.
He said: “We have three or four players that just desperately need a physical and mental break. I’m so confident in this group of players, over the festive period I know that they will do what they need to do to come in ready for the second half of the season.
“Rest is essential, but so is getting in the gym, working on their game and improving on some areas that need attention. Harriet’s effort and leadership over the past five weeks has been incredible.”