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Women’s Report: Bristol Flyers 78-52 Barking Abbey London Lions

The Flyers Women kickstarted their play-off campaign with a commanding win over the Barking Abbey London Lions.

Finding good looks early on, the Flyers built an early seven-point lead, which Barking soon cut down to two behind the offensive work of their captain Jolicia Cadougan.

Leila Jepson began the Flyers’ breakaway with a three, and they started to make their height advantage over the visitors count. At the end of the first, the Flyers led the Lions 29 points to 17.

The Flyers got the first points of the second quarter and overcame Barking’s tough defence with some smart moves. Though the Lions’ shooters tried to start cutting down the deficit, their missed shots started to pile up.

Putting up plenty of points in the paint, Mai Zilbeti was a big impact player for the Flyers - on her way to 14 points and four steals - and a final layup from Fiona Fox gave the Flyers a 20-point lead at the half.

Fatigue seemed to be setting in for the Flyers at the start of the second half and Barking looked to take full advantage. Knowing every little helps, they kept finding scoring opportunities and started eating into the deficit, most of all Cadougan, the game’s top scorer with 18.

Cristina Bigica, Hannah Wallace and Liisa Juul kept finding open looks to keep the Flyers in the lead, and a final jump shot from Juul put the team back up by 20 going into the fourth. Juul was outstanding in the game, leading the Flyers with 17 points and eight rebounds.

The fourth quarter started with a fast break from Zilbeti, who missed the layup, but made up for it by sinking a three. 

On the other end Barking’s three-point shooters, who had been a thorn in the Flyers’ side all afternoon, started finding their rhythm from distance. The Flyers asserted their dominance, though, and kept their lead in the 20 point region.

With the final shot in open play, Hannah Wallace hit a three, giving the Flyers a 27 point lead, their biggest of the game. Cadougan hit one last time from the line, but that only brought Barking to within 26 points of the Flyers at the final buzzer.

The Flyers’ great team ethic, intelligent play and ability militarise on both end of the court are what got them the win - they will now take on the Loughborough Riders for a place in the final. 

Their semi-final match-up will take place at WISE at 12noon on Sunday, April 14th.


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.

Image Credit - B.East Photography