Sunday the 21st see’s Endeavour Ipswich Basketball Club’s Senior Women go up against fellow WNBL Division One high-flyers, Thames Valley Cavaliers in the National Cup Final. In a mouth-watering contest between two of the best basketball teams in the entire national league, the game is one not to miss!
The contest became more interesting this past Saturday when TVC came to Ipswich and became the first team to win at Copleston this season, winning the game by a single point on the buzzer.
Had Ipswich won the league contest, it would have been the second time that the Suffolk side had got the better of the Londoners this season, meaning IBC would have been the likely favourites on Sunday – but with this win, especially on the Ipswich home court, it set’s up a final that could go either way with Thames Valley possibly having the slight psychological edge.
That being said, Ipswich go into this game sitting in first place in the top tier of the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) with an 11-2 (15-2 in all competitions) record. Both losses for Ipswich have been a last second shot by their opponents, demonstrating that Ipswich are not easy to beat. Thames Valley find themselves tied for second place currently with a 8-4 (12-4) record and wins against the top three teams in the league.
Thames Valley are the reigning National Cup holders after beating Reading Rockets in last years final, while Ipswich last won the trophy back in 2018 when they were still in Division Two in a famous victory that propelled the Ipswich girls and women’s programme into the national spotlight. Since that famous day in London, Ipswich have reeled off a Division Two league and playoff double, two Division One league titles and a Division One playoff title – not to mention two U18 national cups, an U16 national cup, the 2023 U18 National Championship.
Thames Valley are a team with great talent and experience. Kat Goldsby, Helene Trailin, Katie Richards and Robyn Ainge are all players with top-level experience and would command a place on any team in the national league.
This current Ipswich roster is a hybrid of two great teams. The spine of last years U18 cup and playoff double winners, including Liv Forster, Christabel Osarobo, Yazmin Edwards and Louisa Gibbins has been boosted by the return of Danni Cazey and three-time National Player of the Year Harriet Welham to make a roster with a blend of exciting young talent and experienced players, in their prime, with championship pedigree.
Both teams are free scoring offensive power houses loaded with talent and experience.
With no clear-cut favourite and so many great players on show - the 2024 National Cup Final has all the makings of a classic.