Endeavour Ipswich Basketball Club’s senior women’s team embarked on a gruelling road trip this past weekend with games at in form Bristol on Saturday in the league and CoLA Southwark Pride on Sunday in the National Cup Quarter Final. Bristol went into Saturday with a 4-5 record, but a 4-1 form book over their previous five games, while CoLA provided an even sterner test as a team that haven’t lost a game since October and are the only team, to date, to have defeated Ipswich.
Ipswich came away with an impressive two wins from two, taking down Bristol 82-61 on Saturday before holding off CoLA on Sunday 78-70.
Both wins showed the grittier side to this Ipswich team who had to dig deep and demonstrate real mental toughness to get both wins against two of the toughest teams in the country.
Ipswich led from start to finish in an efficient performance that allowed Coach Nick Drane to rotate his roster, giving valuable playing time to youngsters Cerys Leach and Lauren Liddamore, who both stepped up and demonstrated their growing confidence at the senior level. Ipswich thwarted Bristol’s size advantage with a high tempo with leading scorers Harriet Welham and Liv Forster again in fine form. A total team effort saw the Suffolk side take an important 82-61 win, meaning IBC will be top of the table at the Christmas break.
Forster - 23
Welham - 19
Leach - 12
Ipswich played some of their best basketball of the season in the first half against CoLA in the National Cup, taking a huge twenty point lead into the half time break off the back of some outstanding team play. However, CoLA are very rarely beaten, especially at home and after reducing the Ipswich lead to fifteen going into the fourth quarter, the game was poised for a grandstand finish. Much like the league game last month, Ipswich held a double digit lead with only a few minutes to play, before CoLA found their shooting touch. However, unlike last month, Ipswich were able to execute down the stretch and hold on for a huge win.
Welham - 23
Forster - 22
Edwards - 14
Ipswich now turn their attention to another difficult, two-game weekend, this time both at home. On Saturday they play host to 4th place Loughborough Riders, a team who’s record would suggest that they are capable of beating anyone, while on Sunday the club hosts the Sheffield Hatters in the National Cup Semi-Final.
Sheffield are a team that by all accounts, are a WNBL D1 level team, having gone undefeated last season, winning the league and playoff double, before declining promotion to Division One – and then starting the 23/24 season without a loss, having already knocked out two D1 teams in their cup run. They are a team that would be a title contender in the top division of the national league, and this encounter is a fascinating one with both teams top of their respective leagues.
With Sunday’s cup semi-final being the final club game of 2023, and with no other club games clashing with this fixture – we are expecting a full house at HQ. Big wigs, Christmas jumpers and all!