WBBL: Lions book Cup final berth as Suns go top of Championship

London Lions booked their place in the WBBL Cup final after a commanding performance over Sheffield Hatters, and there were big wins in the Championship for Sevenoaks Suns, Manchester Met Mystics, Essex Rebels and Newcastle Eagles.

Two of the Championship’s unbeaten sides met in a showcase semi-final that London controlled from the off, holding the Hatters to only 11 points in the first period. Sheffield made it a tighter affair in the second however London continued to pull away, led by Jo Leedham-Warner’s 17 first half points.

After the break London again found their footing quickly as they looked to wrap the game up early in the third, and by the end of it found themselves over 30 points clear of the Hatters. London coasted to clinch that final spot where they will play either Newcastle Eagles or Leicester Riders.

Leedham-Warner led all scorers with 27 points to go with seven rebounds as Shanice Beckford-Norton added 21 of her own as London booked their place in the final in emphatic fashion.

With London and Shefifield facing off in the Cup, this gave Sevenoaks Suns the chance to go clear at the top of the Championship and they grasped that opportunity with both hands in a dominant performance over Durham Palatinates.

Suns held the Palatinates to single digits in points in all four quarters in an impeccable defensive display, and after a slow start in the first that saw the Suns themselves only score nine, they flew out the gates to go two points clear at the top.

Judit Fritz led all scorers with 18 points on an impressive 80% shooting whilst the returning Janice Monakana posted 12 points.

Manchester Met Mystics continued their impressive start to the season going level on points with the Lions and Hatters in a closely fought affair with Oaklands Wolves. Mystics ended the first half well and took an eight-point lead into the break, before Wolves bridged that gap to within one score heading into the fourth and final quarter.

The Mystics then locked the doors in the final 10 minutes as they held the Wolves to only five final quarter points to continue their climb up the table.

Erika Williams posted 25 points in another impressive scoring performance whilst Dominique Allen posted a double double of 14 points and 13 rebounds.

Essex Rebels continued their good form as they made it three wins in a row in an impressive away performance against Cardiff Met Archers.

The Rebels wasted no time in taking the game to the Archers and after a 30-point first quarter they never looked back as they controlled much of the game. The win puts the Rebels two points clear of the Archers as they stay in the top half of the table.

Ashleigh Munns leads the Rebels in points per game and she posted a game high of 24 points whilst Shannon Hatch racked up 23 personal for the Archers.

The game’s final day was a thriller as Newcastle Eagles just came out on top in an extremely close contest against Nottingham Wildcats.

There was barely anything to separate the sides for the entirety of the ballgame before an Ebony Horton jumper put four points between the sides with 44 seconds remaining. The Wildcats fought back and brought the deficit back to within a score, and a three pointer from Imani Whittington came excruciatingly close for Nottingham as Newcastle picked up a crucial win.

Jessica Eadsforth-Yaytes posted a game high 22 points for the Eagles as Brooklyn Pannell scored 22 of her own for Nottingham.

And Sheffield Hatters continued their unbeaten record in the 2021/22 season as they beat Caledonia Pride whilst Leicester Riders breezed past Gloucester City Queens in an entertaining Sunday of WBBL action.

In the day’s early tip-off, Hatters lead throughout. After a close-fought first quarter Hatters had a 6-point advantage with the score at 21-15.
They added 17 points in the second whilst limiting Caledonia to 14 to take the game away from their opponents.

The home side continued their dominance into the second half. Adding 23 and 25 points in the third and fourth quarters respectively to wrap up a convincing 86-66 victory.

Georgia Gayle led the scoring for Hatters with 26 points, nine rebounds and five assists as she narrowly missed out on a double-double performance. For Caledonia, Taylor Edwards had a superb game, just falling short of a triple-double as she finished with 16 points, nine rebounds and nine assists.

Leicester Riders also started off well against Gloucester City Queens. They were 23-16 ahead after the first quarter, a lead that would only get bigger as the game went on.

Riders added 25 to their total in the second and only conceded five to create some daylight between themselves and their opponents.

Queens were outscored again in the third. They lost the quarter 21-12 to trail 69-33 going into the last. Riders scored 12 more in the final quarter to secure a dominant win.

Hannah Robb finished with a team-high 19 points for Riders while Marlee Ball finished with a game-high 20 points for Queens.