Impressive start for cup holders

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A second half points spree saw Health365 Hatters begin their defence of the National Cup in style at Loughborough Student Riders.

The teams were tied at 16-all at the end of the first quarter and Vanessa Ellis’ side just edged the second to open up a slender 31-27 lead at the break.

Hatters upped their game and stretched their advantage to 58-37 going into the final quarter as they ran out comfortable 79-48 winners.

Their reward is a home quarter-final tie against Barking Abbey Leopards on November 20.

Sarah Naylor and Stephanie Gandy top-scored with 20 and 19 points respectively while newcomer Lauren Thomas-Johnson netted 12.

The second team maintained their 100 per cent record in National Division 2 North despite a below par performance at Sunderland City Predators.

Poor passing hindered their progress as they edged home 54-50 but they will need to improve if they’re to take anything from this weekend’s game against title favourites Manchester Mystics.

Hatters Under-16s were involved in a thriller against National League North rivals Cheshire Jets as they came through 49-48 with a last second buzzer beating score.

The visitors held a four point lead at half time and levelled it up at 33-33 going into the final quarter. With 14 seconds left on the clock, Cheshire bagged two foul shots to take a one point lead but leading points scorer Jess Dooley rebounded her own ball and put up another final attempt which dropped just as the buzzer signaled the end of the game.

It was their fourth successive win and they now travel to Stockport for a Bonfire Night game tomorrow.

Team and scorers: Jess Dooley 15, Courtney Shaw 9, Abbie Simpson 7, Mairead Faulkner 5, Naomi Jenkinson 5, Serena Sampson 4, Zuiko Kafamba 3, Izzy Hannity 1, Jo Lowry, Molly Axelby, Grace Twomey.