WNBL1 recap: 25/26 March 2023 - live streams, stats and more

The D1W regular-season title belong to Team Solent Kestrels following a thrilling weekend of action.

Solent's win over Worcester coupled with Thames Valley's narrow loss to Reading means the regular-season crown is heading back to the South Coast for the first time since 2016/17, along with the #1 seed for the playoffs.

The playoff field is also now set following London's loss to Anglia Ruskin, with the Lions in ninth now unable to catch anyone in the top eight.

We take a look at all the weekend's games below, with links to live stats and live streams at the bottom of the page.

Reading Rockets (15-6) 72-70 Thames Valley Cavaliers (18-4)

Thames Valley couldn't finish their regular season with a win as they fell 72-70 against Reading.

In what was a thrilling game for the neutral, the Rockets gained revenge for January's WNBL National Cup defeat, led by a 15-point, 11-rebound, seven-assist effort from Lindsey Cleary. 

Out rebounded by a combined 101-55 in their previous two encounters this season, Reading were much stronger on the boards Saturday, with a 48-47 TVC advantage in that department.

A 22-9 opening quarter put the hosts in control, and it would take until late in the third quarter for the Cavs to enjoy any kind of lead in the contest.

A quick 13-2 run from the Rockets pushed their advantage back to double digits to in the fourth, holding off TVC from there despite the game becoming a one-point contest with 20 seconds to go.

Robyn Ainge (18pts) and Kat Goldsby (15pts) were the standouts for the visitors, who's defeat meant that Solent needed to win just one of their two remaining games to seal the title. The Kestrels did just that, beating Worcester later on Saturday night, meaning Thames Valley will enter the playoffs as the #2 seeds.

Elsewhere this weekend

TVC's loss meant that Team Solent Kestrels' (18-3) could seal the title with a game to spare, something they did with ease following an 82-56 victory against Worcester Wolves (4-18). 

Up 43-32 at the half and 66-43 by the end of the third, Solent could be in party mode as they waited for the final buzzer to confirm them as champs.

Faye Endean (24pts, 7reb, 6ast) and Megan Dorney (22pts, 16reb) both played well for Solent, who now have a dead rubber against Reading next weekend, with a decision to make on finishing the season strong to carry momentum or resting their starters ahead of the playoffs.

Bristol Academy Flyers (6-15) trailed by as many as 14 points before beating Loughborough Riders (10-12) 60-56. A 23-5 third quarter flipped the game on its head for the visitors, who enjoyed their own 12-point lead at one stage before a narrow final score.

Bristol's Veronica Iweanya (13pts, 18reb) had another sizable double-double, cancelling out 16 points off the bench from Loughborough's Sasha Lecuyer.

Anglia Ruskin University (13-8) secured a close 54-49 victory over Brent Bulls (10-10) on Saturday, before beating London Lions II (7-14) 57-55 on Sunday.

Courtney Gray's (17pts, 13reb) battle with London's Fatmata Janneh (26pts, 11reb) was a good one, with Gray and ARU eventually coming out on top.

Reading and Ipswich (9-12) played out a potential dress rehearsal for the opening round of the playoffs, with the Rockets sealing a 93-89 W.

Ipswich sent six players to double figures scoring, led by Ava Battese on 19 points, with Reading's Saioa San Francisco (19pts, 6ast) the pick of the bunch for the hosts.

The weekend closed with an all-London battle as CoLA Southwark Pride (17-5) added another win to their record, knocking off Brent 59-57.

With CoLA moving ahead by two with 61 seconds remaining, the Bulls missed two free throws and six shots in a mad scramble down the stretch that no doubt left the visitors wondering how they'd failed to at least force an OT period.

Pride were led by 14 points on 6/9 shooting from Aaliyah Clarke, while Josephine Maignomo had 16 points for the Bulls.

This weekend's fixtures:

Saturday 25 March

3pm - Loughborough Riders 56-60 Bristol Academy Flyers - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

4pm - Anglia Ruskin University 54-49 Brent Bulls

5pm - Reading Rockets 72-70 Thames Valley Cavaliers - LIVE STATS

7pm - Worcester Wolves 56-82 Team Solent Kestrels - LIVE STATS

Sunday 26 March

1:30pm - Reading Rockets 93-89 Ipswich - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

2pm - London Lions II 55-57 Anglia Ruskin University - LIVE STATS

2:15pm - CoLA Southwark Pride 59-57 Brent Bulls - LIVE STATS



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