Hatters slip to first defeat of the season

Nationa; Basketball Cup finals at Ponds Forge....Nottingham Wildcats v City of Sheffield Hatters....Pictured is Stephanie Gandy
Nationa; Basketball Cup finals at Ponds Forge....Nottingham Wildcats v City of Sheffield Hatters....Pictured is Stephanie Gandy

How are the mighty fallen. Health 365 Hatters tasted defeat for the first time this season when they lost out 87-79 at Sevenoaks Suns.

Both teams had made excellent starts to their National Division One campaigns but it was the home side who ruled the court in the first half as Hatters found themselves trailing at the break for the first time this season.

They shipped 49 points and found themselves with a 12-point deficit but they fought back to take a three point lead only to lose it again as they went into the final quarter three points adrift.

Strong plays from Stephanie Gandy and Lauren Thomas-Johnson kept them in the game but in the closing stages, three Hatters players fouled out and the remaining five couldn’t bridge the gap.

Top scorers: Stephanie Gandy 29, Lauren Thomas-Johnson 18, Sarah Naylor 12.

Thankfully they bounced back to reach the National Cup semi-finals with a nerve-shredding 70-67 win over Barking Abbey 24 hours later.

Hatters again made a poor start and trailed 13-4 early on although they trimmed that back to a three point deficit at the end of the first session. The Sheffield side then took control and turned the game around to open up a 46-34 half time lead.

Back came Barking and they out-scored Hatters 16-6 to leave everything to play for in the final quarter with the score at 52-50. In the end Vanessa Ellis’ side held on to keep their trophy defence on track.

Stephanie Gandy again top-scored with 20 while Lauren Thomas-Johnson and Sarah Naylor netted 18 and 17 points respectively.

Hatters entertain Durham Wildcats at All Saints tomorrow (4pm tip).

The second team took the points with a 62-50 victory at National Two North rivals Newcastle Eagles. Top scorers: Campbell 13, Ashmore 11, Springer 11.

They entertain Ilkeston Outlaws at All Saints tomorrow (2pm).

A fourth quarter fightback just proved to be in vain for Hatters Under-16s in their National North clash at Manchester Mystics. They trailed 37-24 at the break and the gap widened to 55-39 going into the final period but they then turned on the power and came within eight points at the final buzzer, going down 68-60.

Rhianna Laing (cracked ribs) and Naomi Jenkinson (broken wrist) missed the match and they suffered three further injuries to Courtney Shaw, Jo Lowry and top scorer Jess Dooley.

Team and scorers: Jess Dooley 22, Courtney Shaw 9, Serena Sampson 8, Mairead Faulkner 7, Eleanor Goodwin 5, Isabel Hannity 4, Elaine Anderson 4, Jo Lowry 1, Grace Twomey and Zuiko Kfamba.

The Under-16s entertain Doncaster in a South Yorkshire derby at All Saints tomorrow.