Endeavour Ipswich Basketball Club claimed their first WNBL National Cup since 2017/18 as they beat holders Thames Valley Cavaliers 96-90.
In a back-and-forth affair between two evenly-matched teams, both sides battled foul trouble to key rotation players. Ipswich were able to dig deep to secure the win, providing a fitting end to this year's competition.
The MVP award went to Harriet Welham after she led all scorers with 34, dropping fifteen points in the games final seven minutes, to go with five assists, four rebounds and four steals.
That was certainly true in the fourth quarter as she hit shot after shot to snuff out any potential TVC comeback, including two deep three-pointers with just under six minutes remaining that sent the travelling Ipswich fans into party mode.
Welham was supported by Yazmin Edwards and Christabel Osarobo (both 17pts, 11reb) as Olivia Forster also dropped 17 points.
Thames Valley certainly gave the Cup defence their all, with Kat Goldsby (24pts, 10reb, 6ast, 5stl) stuffing the stat sheet in defeat.
Last year's Cup Final MVP Helene Trailin had 9 points and 12 boards as Robyn Ainge closed with 16 points and 6 assists.
"We talked about rebounding and defending the paint," said Ipswich head coach Nick Drane when questioned about his half time approach.
"We talked about the fact that they're bigger and stronger than us and that we had to compete and if we could compete and stay out of foul trouble that we would be able to bring it home late in the game. Losing last week's D1W game to TVC did us a favour in the sense that we know that they can beat us. We're having a pretty good season in the league and I think if you start to believe all the noise I don't think it does you any favours as a team."
Drane added, "We know how good Thames Valley are, so when they beat us last week it proved that we needed to be at our best to beat them here."
Photos: Luke Simcock