The WNBL campaign is now underway as a trio of games marked week 1 over the 28/29 September 2019. Although the division might have been light on the ground in terms of fixtures, there was no shortage of action and a big result is already in the books! Live stats links are hyperlinked in the text below.
Last season’s regular season winners Bristol started their title defence in the worst possible way with a home defeat to Ipswich. A 34-point explosion in the 2nd was enough to push Ipswich out to a sizeable lead, and one they’d never relinquish the rest of the way.
A 20-0 run that spanned the end of the 1st and into the 2nd was more than enough to put Coach Drane’s side into the driver’s seat. The difference between the sides would pass 20 shortly before half time before staying north of 15 rest of the way, regardless of how much Bristol tried to get back into the contest.
Danni Cazey enjoyed a productive afternoon for Ipswich as she led all scorers with 21 points, adding five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Rebecca Hardwood-Bellis (12 points, 10 rebounds) and Cameron Taylor Willis (17 points, 10 rebounds) both clocked double-doubles for the Suffolk side as well.
Michelle Tattersall was the pick of the players for Bristol, she had 10 points and three rebounds. Leila Jepson also scored 10, with Maialen Zilbeti finishing on seven.
In Barking, Reading held BA to just 19 1st half points before eventually running out 81-42 winners. The Rockets shot 46% from the floor, with captain Candela Hermida Nunez top scoring on 24 points. Kian Omer-Jones was a bright spot for the hosts as she finished with a 22 point, 10 rebound double-double.
Last season’s playoff champions Anglia Ruskin University are up and running in 19/20 as they secured an 86-70 road win against Thames Valley. ARU's lead touched 15 midways through the 2nd quarter as the visitors looked to really break the game open, but a battling effort by the Cavs brought the difference down to just a single point half way through the 3rd.
A 24-8 run for much of the next 10 minutes saw the Rhinos safely back in control however, sealing the win from there. Ilaria Zaffaroni and reigning playoff final MVP Katrin Hulme did most of the damage for ARU, scoring 20 and 19 respectively. Hulme came within a whisker of a triple-double, falling just shy with nine rebounds and nine assists. Likewise, Diana Voynova came close to the same feat for Barking, finishing with a stat line of 26 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.
Credit to @BrisFlyersWomen who are doing everything right. Fantastic atmosphere here today, a great programme with great people. Good performance from our ladies today to start the season! #IBCfamily https://t.co/poLDr1ecyQ— Nick Drane (@IBA_CoachDrane) September 28, 2019
Final score Rockets D1 Women Win 42-81. pic.twitter.com/JP2Vr703FW— Reading Rockets 🏀🚀 (@rocketsreading) September 28, 2019
The schedule begins to ramp up next week with four fixtures across week 2, the weekend of 5/6 October.
Bristol will need to bounce back from their defeat to Ipswich as Loughborough are heading to town. Ipswich entertain Southwark Pride in Suffolk and ARU head back home to play against Thames Valley.
In Sunday’s lone fixture, Reading and Team Solent face off in Berkshire with a 4:30pm tip.
D1W Player of the Week will be announced tomorrow, so stay tuned to our social channels for that!
Main image credit: Bristol Academy Flyers Women