After an unsettling start to the day, the bad luck just kept coming for the under-14 Girls. For six of the ten players it was their first experience of National League.
Abbie, Susannah, Cameron, Emily and Faith started the game with a strong performance keeping the game tied up until the sixth minute. The gap started to widen in the second quarter, when Ipswich saw three players in foul trouble. However, Alicia, Makenna and Annika all hustled hard coming off the bench to change the pace of the game. At the end of the half, Ipswich were trailing by eight points.
Knowing that it was going to be a tough second half, the Ipswich players focussed their minds on the game and tried to do the basics better than Northamptonshire. Both Jodie and Olivia contributed positively on court and helped refocus this energy. Despite great efforts from the players in the third quarter, Ipswich found themselves down by 15 points.
Northamptonshire were too strong for the Ipswich side as they had run out a twenty-point lead in the middle of the fourth quarter. With injuries and foul trouble, Ipswich struggled to bring the game back until the last two minutes where they cut a twenty-point deficit in half to only lose by ten points.
“Whilst some teams would see a loss as a bad thing, this is a great result for the girls – especially as the majority of the girls are still a year young – and their determination is definitely something to watch,” said Coach Hayley Rigby after the game. “There are plenty of aspects the Under 14 girls need to improve on but over the course of the season, the improvement will be phenomenal.”
Final Score: Ipswich 59 – 69 Northamptonshire Titans
Top scorers: Susannah Rafiu 20 points, Cameron Taylor-Willis 18, Abbie Yorke 8.