Southwark top Solent but Kestrels still take massive step towards D1W title

Southwark Pride 64 v 59 Team Solent Kestrels

Despite handing Solent their 1st loss of the season on Sunday, Southwark couldn’t win by the required amount to also claim the head to head record between the two sides. As the primary tiebreaker should 2 teams finish the season with an equal number of points, if the Kestrels can now win their remaining 3 games of the season, the D1W title will be theirs.

In a low scoring contest, 20 points from American Ekimini Essien and 19 more from experienced guard Jodi Jerram meant that the Kestrels were able to keep the score in check for the duration. With the hosts needing to stretch their lead as much as possible, they were never able to really get away in this one. A tie game at 30-30 to start the 3rd, Solent knew half of their task was already done and they held their nerve to retain the head-to-head record despite the close loss. Khaleah Edwards and Alimat Onuyemi both scored 12 for the Pride as they tried in vain to get the points they needed.

With games remaining at home to Lancashire, then @ Barking and finishing the year at home to Bristol Storm, the Kestrels now know exactly what they need to do if they are to claim the title.

Ekimini Essien was a non-factor when the clubs last met but was important to Solent's success this weekend - Mansoor Ahmed/AhmedPhotos

Essex Blades 61 v 65 Charnwood College Riders

Charnwood claimed a solid road win this weekend as Essex were dealt another blow in their quest to try and secure 4th seed for the playoffs. Up big early and owning a double digit lead after 10 minutes, the Blades slowly fell back until the Riders could sneak ahead late in this one.

Anna Popvic top scored with 21 for Charnwood and Harriet Welham had 27 in reply for the Blades in what was a 1st half of opposites in Essex. With the Blades racing ahead early, the Riders enjoyed a similar quarter themselves in the 2nd to leave a half time score of 35-33 to the hosts at the half. From there, the Riders began to squeeze ahead and held on as the final buzzer sounded.

Bristol Academy Flyers 80 v 36 Exeter Eagles

With a loss by the Blades, the Flyers took full advantage of the situation to dispatch Exeter and move into 5th place in the D1W standings. With Amani Clark and Maialan Zilbeti both scoring well with 15, Fiona Fox added 18 more to lead all scorers. It was a confident performance from the Flyers and highlighted how far the team had come after starting the season 0-6.

Fiona Fox was solid in Bristol's win over Exeter this weekend - B.East Photography

Barking Abbey UEL 59 v 40 Bristol Storm

Another team to profit from an Essex Blades loss, Barking Abbey took care of business to move into sole possession of 4th place with a win over Bristol Storm. The loss didn’t help the Storm’s desire to cement a playoff place of their own and this was their 4th loss in a row.

Starting brightly, the visitors ground to a halt in the 2nd when they couldn’t buy a basket and recorded just 2 points in the quarter. Abbey had no such problems, leading to a lopsided 37-19 score line at the half. Against opposition with plenty of quality, that kind of deficit was too much for the Storm to overcome despite 23 from Gonzalez. Adeyinka top scored for the hosts with 14 and Rubin added 12.

With only 4 games left today was a much needed win to help us push for fourth spot,” BA Head Coach Karen Burton commented after the game. “On the performance side we have to be much better as a team. We play Solent next week and the missed lay ups and lack of effort on defence will be punished by a better team.