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Report: Bristol Flyers Women 60-59 Barking Abbey UEL

Bristol Flyers Women and Barking Abbey UEL both fought hard for victory at the WISE Arena on Saturday in a matchup that would go all the way down to the wire.

 

The game tipped off after a half-hour delay, and Amani Clark was fouled making a layup in the first three seconds. She missed the subsequent free-throw, but Fiona Fox caught the rebound and laid it up herself to give the Flyers an early 4-0 scoreline.

Clark continued to find the basket – she had 11 points in the first half alone – but Barking Abbey started a fight back. Naomi McKenzie made a three to make it a two-point game, Maialen Zilbeti responded with a two-pointer almost immediately.

Hannah Till made the last shot of the quarter, Naomi McKenzie missed a final three-point attempt, and the Flyers ended the first with a 15-11 lead.

Naomi McKenzie opened the second-quarter scoring with a three pointer to take Barking Abbey to within one. Hannah Till tried to respond on the opposite end, but her wide-open jump shot ringed in and out.

Barking Abbey started to up their defence, positioning all five players under the basket, preventing any and all attempts inside. Two minutes in Eunika Edwards made a jump shot to give Barking Abbey their first lead of the game. Taneka Rubin took the lead to three shortly after, Liisa Juul then reduced it to one.

Naomi McKenzie’s success from three-point territory continued, but Fiona Fox made two layups in short succession to eat into Barking Abbey’s lead. Their losing grip on the game also not helped by a hard foul on Taneka Rubin, she had to be helped off court and would sit out the rest of the game.

Amani Clark had a chance at the free-throw line to give the Flyers the half-time lead, but missed both shots and Barking Abbey went to the locker room with a slender one-point advantage.

The third quarter started off problematic for the Flyers, they had plenty of shot opportunities but couldn’t get any of them to drop, while Barking Abbey’s Eunika Edwards and Teodora Armanu went at building their team’s lead. The Flyers played smart, drawing fouls and converting on the line to stop the visitors getting too far ahead.

Four minutes into the second half, Fiona Fox made a free throw and Maialen Zilbeti made a three pointer to give the Flyers back the lead, which before long grew to six. They couldn’t continue this streak, however, and Barking Abbey took advantage: a five-point run from Teodora Armanu and a jump shot in the paint from Megan Sheret that hit nothing but net put them back on top.

Naomi McKenzie – joint top scorer for Barking Abbey, along with Teodora Armanu, with 13 – put her team further into the lead, but Amani Clark scored inside the arc with seconds left in the third, cutting the deficit to one ahead of the final stage of the game.

Early in the fourth, Imke Sittel scored five points off the bench to put the Flyers ahead 47-46, but two field goals from Wura Ijelu and a three pointer from Teodora Armanu put Barking Abbey back into the lead.

Hannah Watkins was the standout in the fourth quarter, going on a seven-point scoring run for the Flyers. Watkins would finish the game with ten points and 11 rebounds.

Amani Clark stole the ball mid-air and laid it up to regain the lead for the Flyers, then Megan Sheret made a field goal to take the lead back for Barking Abbey. Maialen Zilbeti responded with a field goal on the opposite end and Hannah Watkins added another to give the home team a late three-point lead.

The Flyers’ lead was cut down to one by Wura Ijelu with 30 seconds left in the game. Amani Clark attempted to seal the game but her shot was blocked by Megan Sheret. Sheret found Wura Ijelu, who stepped out of bounds after being boxed out by Liisa Juul and Fiona Fox.

In the final three seconds the Flyers inbounded the ball, a jump ball was called, Barking Abbey too possession but couldn’t get a final shot off in time. The tense, back-and-forth game ended with a 60-59 victory for the Flyers.

The Flyers women’s next game will be against Angila Ruskin University at the WISE Arena on the 18th of February. Tip-off 4pm.

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