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Women’s Report: Bristol Flyers 52–71 Reading Rockets

Bristol Flyers Women’s unprecedented season came to an abrupt end in the play-off semi-final to the visiting Reading Rockets.

It wasn’t the best start to the game for the Flyers, with Mai Zilbeti’s game ending early following a hard foul and the team falling behind 9-0 early on.

Hannah Wallace put up the Flyers’ first points of the game, and navigating the Rockets’ defence, they cut the deficit down to two. After a back-and-forth end to the first quarter, the Flyers trailed by just one point.

In a scrappy second period, Flyers entered the penalty early on and Reading’s three-point shooting – particularly from Monica Herranz De Antonio, the game’s top scorer with 25 – pushed their lead out to double-digits. 

The Flyers kept finding open looks in the paint to prevent their opponents from going too far ahead, particularly Cristina Bigica and Fiona Fox, who went on to lead the Flyers’ rebounding with seven total boards at the end of the contest, as well as putting up 10 points. Unable to get around the Rockets’ defence, or stop their offence, the Flyers trailed at half-time 37-23.

Reading opened the second half with two threes, and before long had a 20 point lead. Liisa Juul tried to ignite a fight back with an and-one layup, but the team saw Becky Cantin leave the game, and Reading power ahead on the offensive end.

Trailing by 23 points at the end of the third, the Flyers entered the final quarter knowing every possession and every second was going to count, and they would have to severely limit Reading’s scoring chances if they were going to do the impossible in the last ten minutes of regulation.

At first it seemed promising, with Hannah Wallace knifing through the lane and Flo Ward finding her rhythm from short-range, which saw her lead the Flyers with 12 points. It also helped that Reading seemed to have cooled down from three-point territory.

However, missed shot attempts started to pile up, and at the same time Reading reclaimed their 20 point lead down the stretch. It then became all about damage limitation for the Flyers.

Leila Jepson put up the Flyers’ last points of the game, but a final three from Carmen Segura Moreno meant the final score stood at 52-71 in the Rockets’ favour – a result that brought and end to the Flyers’ play-off title hopes.


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

Written by Jack Ford. Jack has been volunteering with Bristol Flyers writing game reports on Flyers Women for the website and gameday programme.