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Erin Hunter

Erin Hunter writes

Posted Saturday, October 24th 2020

Women’s Report: Bristol Flyers 63-68 Solent Kestrels

Bristol Flyers Women fell short in another close-fought battle against the visiting Solent Kestrels.

After last week’s defeat and a rousing pre-game talk from Captain Fiona Fox, the Flyers were ready for a hard-fought battle against their rivals the Kestrels. Solent were the first to come away with the ball after winning the tip, but it was the Flyers to put points up first, with a jump shot from Fox.

Points were traded throughout the next few minutes with neither team managing to pull far out in front. The physicality of the game was apparent from the start, as most points were coming from free throws from both teams. The quarter ended with the Kestrels ahead by five points, 14-19.

The second quarter began with a lay up from Juul to bring the Flyers within three, but Di Stefano kept the Kestrels in front with four unanswered points. The Flyers weren’t far behind, with Omadi scoring a lay up to bring Bristol to within five.

As the Kestrels began to pull ahead, an important three-pointer was made by Charity and a jump shot from Zilbeti kept the Flyers within reaching distance. Charity scored a lay up in the final two minutes to tie the teams at 30 points apiece. Two final free throws in the dying seconds of the half kept the Kestrels ahead by two going into half time, 30-32.

The Flyers were not ready to give up the fight, with Fox equalising straight away with a lay-up, then taking the lead with another. Both teams continued to trade points throughout the rest of the quarter, with neither team managing to break away.

Points in the quarter came from Fox, Jepson and Cantin for the Flyers and Karpova and Endean for the Kestrels. In the final seconds of the quarter, Jepson managed to get the Flyers out ahead by three points with a three pointer within the last 20 seconds, 49-46. 

The energy was very high on both benches as the final quarter began, and it was easy to tell that both teams wanted to come away with the win. Charity put the Flyers further ahead early on with a lay-up, but a foul from Jepson put the Kestrels back within reach of the Flyers and a jump shot from Meyer meant the Kestrels trailed by one.

Another Jump shot from Jackson put the Kestrels back in the lead again. A further six points on the road from the Kestrels meant their lead extended to seven points. However, the Flyers were not done yet. A foul on Jepson on the three-point line meant the Flyers could claim back three points from the free throw line.

A pivotal three pointer from Zilbeti brought the Flyers within two points in the final few minutes of the game. But a three pointer from the Kestrels’ Endean put them ahead. 

It was down to Zilbeti again, to match it with another three pointer to bring the difference down to two. The final 20 seconds was where it all went wrong for the Flyers, and an “and one” play from the Kestrels’ Velkey extended their lead to five points as the final seconds ticked out. 

Notable mentions from this game are Zilbeti with 16 points and Fox and Juul both with nine rebounds.

Photo credit: Luke Simcock

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