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Report: Solent Kestrels 83-55 Bristol Flyers Women

The Flyers Women’s play-off run ended in Southampton on Sunday as they fell short to the Team Solent Kestrels at the semi-final stage.

Despite playing a tight, back-and-forth game the Flyers were unable to cause another upset. In the end the Kestrels dug their claws in and clinched their spot in the final.

In a tightly fought first quarter, the Flyers got the first points on the board, but Jodi Jerram and Megan Jenkins put up a huge scoring effort for Solent.  Amani Clark responded for the Flyers on her way to 17 total points and led them to finish the opening stage with a tied score line of 17 apiece.

The home side got off to a rocky start to the second quarter and the Flyers took advantage, before Solent found their form again and ran out to a 16-point lead. The Flyers started to chip away at that lead with good inside looks and drawing fouls, and both teams went to the locker rooms at half time separated by 11 points, 31-42.

In the third quarter the Flyers had control;  Amani Clark came charging out of the blocks and, along with good quarter performances from Hannah Watkins and Maialen Zilbeti who finished with 15 and 12 points respectively, reduced Solent’s lead to five. The Kestrels would then go on an eight-point scoring run to re-consolidate their lead. The Flyers ended their impressive third quarter ended down 59-49, but showed they were there to fight for their place in the final.

The fourth quarter, however, did not follow the same pattern as the rest of the game: Solent upped their holding the Flyers to just six points, and five of their players combined for 24 points to close the game out 83-55. An unfortunate end to what has been an impressive and exciting season for the Flyers.

“We’re very disappointed to go out in the semis, but equally very proud of all those who've been involved,” head coach Gareth Till told bristolflyers.co.uk.

“Essentially we struggled to compete with Solent's inside presence for forty minutes and the depth of their squad.

“The start of the season was very difficult, but our confidence improved game by game and we managed to completely turn our season around.

“I knew we had good players, we just needed that belief.

“I'm not surprised how well we did in the end, we're a tough team that plays good defence.

“Every season is a fresh start, players come and go, you really don't know how the squad shapes up until September. What is positive is we already have players keen to try out for the squad, so we're in good shape.”