WNBL1 Recap: Week 26 (24/25 April 2021) - live streams, stats and more

Ipswich took a huge step towards retaining the D1W league title with a pivotal win over rivals CoLA Southwark Pride.

The Suffolk side can now only be caught by second place Loughborough, but winning either of their final two games would be enough to seal a second straight title.

Teams continued to battle for position across the D1W table, with five other exciting games taking place and the playoffs just two weeks away.

There's a recap of all the action below, and each result is also clickable if you wish to view the live stats.

Ipswich on the brink

Ipswich (14-2) 67-54 CoLA Southwark Pride (10-4) 

Ipswich put together a solid performance on Saturday to beat title rivals CoLA Southwark Pride 67-54.

The hosts were powered by 18 points apiece from Dani Cazey and Harriet Welham, with Susannah Rafiu chipping in 14 points off the bench.

After racing out to a double-digit lead in the opening quarter, Ipswich were pegged back and it was the visitors who briefly moved ahead as half-time approached.

A late basket from Cazey would eventually help to send the teams into the break tied at 32, setting up the final 20 minutes perfectly.

CoLA were held to just 22 points in the second half but still stayed in touch thanks to the efforts of captain Simona Henshaw (17 points) and Isi Ozzy-Momodu (10pts, 16reb). That left the contest once against evenly poised at 54-52 Ipswich with 4:44 remaining.

A 13-2 run from that point decided the game though, with Cazey (5 points), Rafiu and Welham (4 points each) combining to do the damage.

Saturday's win means Ipswich can now retain their league title with a win next weekend against Loughborough or the following week against Reading. The Suffolk side could still lose both games and take top spot if the Riders drop points in any of their remaining fixtures.

Elsewhere this weekend

It was a mixed few days for Nottingham Trent University (9-7), who split their double-header in the race for fourth spot.

Saturday's 76-71 loss against Worcester Wolves (6-8) involved an absolute treat for the NBL Live cameras from NTU's Schekinah Bimpa, who posted a simply incredible 31 points and 29 rebounds in the losing effort.

Worcester enjoyed a 15 point, 10 rebound double-double of their own off Inma Bautista, who helped fuel a 22-10 third quarter that decided a narrow contest.

On Sunday, Nottingham bounced back against bottom side Cardiff Met Archers (1-13) to win a low scoring game 54-43.

Isabel Bueriberi's 14 points led all scorers, tacking on 10 boards for a useful double-double. Cardiff were paced by Denisa Molnar, Abbi Morris and Lauren Green, who all had eight points.

Loughborough Riders (11-4) did what was required to keep the title race alive as they knocked off Cardiff on Saturday, winning that one 73-60.

A 43-19 half time lead for the Riders suggested this one was heading for blowout territory, but the Archers rallied hard after the break to trail by just four points early in the final frame.

That was as close as the hosts would come though as Loughborough took the fourth quarter 19-11 behind a 14 point, 11 rebound double-double from Makana Stone and 13 points from Lauren Dabbs.

Team Solent Kestrels (9-6) retained fourth spot with a 70-62 road win over BA London Lions II (4-12).

The visitors moved into a lead they'd never relinquish after just a few minutes of the opening quarter, with Erica Meyer (16pts, 11reb), Andrea Kurkowski (13pts) and Faye Endean (11pts, 7reb, 4ast) all helping to keep the Lions at bay.

Despite the loss, BA were able to hold onto the eighth and final playoff spot as rivals Thames Valley Cavaliers (3-11) lost out 60-46 against Reading Rockets (8-8).

A 20-11 third quarter plus quality outings from captain Candela Hermida Nunez (21pts, 4reb, 4ast), Sitota Gines Espinosa (11pts, 12reb, 4ast) and Gaila Comesana (11pts, 8reb, 4ast) saw the hosts home, as Emma Bush recorded a 13 point, 10 rebound double-double for the Cavs.

Victory means the Rockets can still catch Nottingham and Solent in the battle for fourth spot, with the Berkshire side now just two points behind the duo.

This weekend's results:

Saturday 24 April

1pm - Cardiff Met Archers 60-73 Loughborough Riders - LIVE STATS
1pm - BA London Lions II 62-70 Team Solent Kestrels - LIVE STATS
2pm - Ipswich 67-54 CoLA Southwark Pride - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM LOCATION
2pm - Worcester Wolves 76-71 Nottingham Trent University - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM
6pm - Reading Rockets 60-46 Thames Valley Cavaliers - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM LOCATION

Sunday 25 April

2pm - Nottingham Trent University 54-43 Cardiff Met Archers - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM LOCATION

Main image credit - Luke Simcock