Updated: Jan 16, 2019
Ipswich welcomed the reigning WNBL D1 Champions to Copleston, and both teams entertained the crowd with a thrilling encounter.
The visitors, who have only tasted defeat once this season in all competitions, came into the game high on confidence, while Ipswich had lost back-to-back games on the road.
Ipswich’s fast pace caused ARU no end of problems throughout the game but ultimately the Suffolk side’s foul trouble, combined with ARU’s shooting from deep in the fourth quarter, won the visitors the game.
For Ipswich, Harriet Welham, still not 100% fit after a nasty knee injury, poured in 38 points, including a senior club record nine three-pointers on her way to what would have been perhaps the game of her life had the team won.
And 14-year-old Susannah Rafiu made her long awaited senior debut, making an instant impact before very sadly picking up an injury that could see her out for some time.
The loss moves Ipswich to a 3-4 record in the league, now needing to win on the road this Saturday at Southwark Pride to take a .500 record into the Christmas break.
Although outside of the top two of Bristol Flyers and Anglia Ruskin, the chasing pack seem to all be dropping games to each other, meaning if Ipswich can string a run of wins together, a top four finish shouldn’t be out of the question.
“We are due some luck” said head coach Nick Drane after the game. “That’s not me making excuses, we will roll our sleeves up and get on with it, but we’ve had a torrid month and at some point we are due things to swing back in our favour.
“I thought we played our best game of the season today, there were some tough calls down the stretch, that are even more frustrating having seen them on video, and the injury to Susannah is just gutting for everyone – she’s a phenomenal talent, and someone we have all been excited to see on court at this level, and for the 15 minutes we had her she exceeded expectations.”