Ipswich Basketball Club’s Senior Women’s team experienced the ups and down’s of life at the top level of English National League Basketball this weekend, falling to a second successive home loss in WNBL D1 on Saturday against Anglia Ruskin, before, less than 24 hours later, enjoying an emphatic win in the National Cup, to see them progress to the last sixteen next month.
On Saturday, Ipswich entertained Anglia Ruskin, a team who you could be forgiven for describing as something of a bogey team for the Suffolk side, having knocked them out of last season’s playoffs. However, with both teams having been through significant changes in the offseason, this game was something of an unknown. ARU were still waiting for their first win, after a rough start that had seen them lose to Division One newcomers Brent Bulls, who are rolling through the league, as well as Solent Kestrels, the other undefeated team in the league – so their 0-2 record was probably not a fair reflection on the level of the team. While Ipswich, were coming into the game with an even 1-1 record, hoping to make amends for their recent loss at home to Reading.
In a thrilling encounter, it was the Cambridge based side who took the spoils, twice fighting back from strong Ipswich leads, to secure their first win of the season.
Ipswich showed real promise for long phases of the game, with youngster Yazmin Edwards being thrown into the starting five, and repaying her coaches faith, with an fantastic twenty-one point performance, but the experience of Anglia Ruskin showed in the closing stages of the game, as they showed the poise and quality required to close out an impressive 90-84 win.
- Saruna Gudza 22,
- Yazmin Edwards 21
- Olivia Forster 16.
On Sunday, in the National Cup, Ipswich hosted another programme from the East, UEA from Norwich. Ipswich’s win in the cup back in 2018 is still a memory so many people from the club were a part of, so a cup run is something the club would welcome! UEA started the better of the two teams, and held a two point advantage after the first quarter, but eventually Ipswich’s talent and quality shone through, winning comfortably by 95 points to 57, with Ava Battese enjoying a phenomenal afternoon, connecting on ten three-pointers on her way to a season high 38.
- Ava Battese 38
- Yazmin Edwards 16
- Olivia Forster 16.
“This was a mixed weekend. There is a world where we could be 3-0, but we’ve been a little unlucky and a little naïve down the stretch these last couple of weeks. However, we are not in the business of making excuses – we are where we deserve to be right now, so we need to take care of business this week, get some rest, and prepare well for Worcester on Saturday”. Said Ipswich Coach Nick Drane