WNBL1 recap: Week 27 (1/2 May 2021) - Ipswich crowned champions

Ipswich have secured a second successive WNBL Division One league title after their week 27 win over rivals Loughborough.

The Suffolk side comfortably saw off the Riders to get themselves over the line with a game still to play, claiming the #1 seed for the upcoming playoffs in the process.

There were also some compelling contests across the rest of the weekend, with plenty of battles still going on for post-season spots.

Basketball England joined our sporting colleagues across football, cricket, rugby and other sports in the #EnoughIsEnough social media boycott this past weekend.  For more information, please click HERE.

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

Ipswich crowned champs

Ipswich (15-2) 92-54 Loughborough Riders (11-5)

Ipswich thumped title rivals Loughborough 92-54 to claim their second straight regular season title in style.

Coach Drane's side were ahead by more than 20 in the early stages of the second quarter, with a 26-9 opening frame setting the tone for a dominant display.

Cameron Taylor-Willis continued her recent good form to lead all scorers with 26 points, adding eight rebounds to an impressive performance.

Player of the Year candidate Harriet Welham closed on 18 points and Esther Little recorded a solid 15 point, 16 rebound double-double.

In a must win game the visitors had no answer for the Suffolk side, with Makana Stone's 21 point, 13 rebound double-double the only real sign of resistance on an afternoon to forget. 

Elsewhere this weekend

There were six other games to enjoy this weekend, starting with Saturday's 69-41 victory for Reading Rockets (9-8) over Cardiff Met Archers (2-14).

Trailing by double digits following a 23-13 opening quarter, Cardiff scored just five points in the second frame to put themselves in a hole they'd never escape from.

Rockets' guard Sitota Gines Espinosa flirted with a triple-double before closing on 24 points, nine boards, and eight steals.

Following Loughborough's loss to Ipswich, CoLA Southwark Pride (11-4) seized the opportunity to move into a tie for second place, beating Nottingham Trent University (9-8) 81-73.

Both CoLA (62%) and NTU (66%) shot well in the contest, but it was the London side who'd eventually claim a game as they led from post to post.

Isi Ozzy-Momodu was the standout for Pride, with 15 points and seven boards. Schekinah Bimpa had 19 for Trent.

Team Solent Kestrels (10-7) were able to capitalise on Nottingham's defeat in the battle for fourth spot, beating Worcester Wolves (6-10) 76-63.

24 points from guard Inma Bautista wouldn't be enough for the Wolves as Faye Endean (14pts), Princess Adeogun (11pts) and Anna Nevison (11pts) all chipped in well for Solent.

In the big clash for the eighth and final playoff spot, BA London Lions II (5-12) gained the upper hand as they defeated rivals Thames Valley Cavaliers (4-12) 67-60.

Katherine Goldsby was once again in fine form for the hosts, recording a 21 point, 13 rebound double-double in defeat, Ann Sheaia scored a team-high 15 points for BA.

The win gives the head-to-head tiebreaker to the London side, an important factor should the two teams finish with the same record at the end of the season.

Yesterday's games saw Thames Valley bounce back from their loss to BA as they beat Worcester 69-60.

Katherine Goldsby recorded her second double-double in as many days with 16 points and 11 boards. Worcester came undone as they scored just 19 second half points as another fine performance from Inma Bautista (23pts, 19reb, 6ast) went to waste.

The victory kept alive Thames Valley's hopes of making the playoffs, but the Cavs now need to win both of their games next weekend and hope that BA lose against Worcester.

In the final game of the weekend, Cardiff secured their second win of the season as they rose up to defeat Solent 63-49.

In a highly impressive road performance, the Archers held their opponents to just 14 points combined across the second and third quarters.

Isobel Bunyan enjoyed 15 points and as many rebounds in the win, whilst only Erica Meyer (11pts) and Faye Endean (10pts) made it into double digits for the Kestrels.

This weekend's results:

Saturday 1 May

1pm - Cardiff Met Archers 41-69 Reading Rockets - LIVE STATS
2pm - CoLA Southwark Pride 81-73 Nottingham Trent University - LIVE STATS
2pm - Ipswich 92-54 Loughborough Riders - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM LOCATION
2pm - Worcester Wolves 63-76 Team Solent Kestrels - LIVE STATS
3pm - Thames Valley Cavaliers 60-67 BA London Lions II - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

Sunday 2 May

2pm - Worcester Wolves 60-69 Thames Valley Cavaliers - LIVE STATS
2pm - Team Solent Kestrels 49-63 Cardiff Met Archers - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

Main image credit - Luke Simcock