Gloucester City Queens 46-81 Leicester Riders
A brave loss for the Gloucester City Queens in the WBBL Cup saw them drop 46-81 to defending champions Leicester Riders at the Archers Arena.
The Queens put up just 14 first-half points whilst the Riders took control of the game early - leading 14-35 by the end of the second quarter.
Despite a respectable 19 points in the third quarter from the Gloucestershire side, they were outgunned for much of the second half, the Riders continuing their attack-the-basket memo.
Claire Abbott’s 19 points alongside Marlee Ball’s 13 were not enough to for the Queens to find an upset win over the Riders, who face Cardiff Met Archers next week for a place in the WBBL Cup semi-finals.
Good, quick passing and solid defense from the Riders pushed them into an early lead, holding the Queens to just seven points in the entire first quarter.
Further struggling continued though for the home side, Jay Marriott’s side unable to get momentum to swing their way. Scoring just seven points in both quarters in the first half, the Queens faced a deficit of 21 at halftime, the biggest they’d faced all season by some margin.
Unfortunately, the Riders only extended their lead as the game grew on - midway through the third quarter, the gap was as big as 35 points, the Riders piling on three pointers one after another.
As the fourth quarter came to a close, the Queens encountered their second loss in the WBBL Cup, with the final match against Oaklands Wolves next week.
Following the defeat, head coach Marriott noted the Queens’ player shortage as a struggle that they’ll look to overcome in the coming months.
“We had five players yesterday play all 40 minutes, and they had to do similar today. That was always going to be a monumental task. I’ve got to be calm and keep things in perspective.
“For us as staff, we’re going to have to do some more work in terms of recruiting, trying people in that can help us at this level with our shortage of players.”
Looking ahead to the Wolves match, Marriott seemed optimistic at the fact they can use the match as preparation for the upcoming 2021/2022 WBBL championship season.
“We’re not going to be getting out of this group in the Cup this year, so we’re just going to have to use this open game as preparation for the league. We’ve learnt a few tough lessons over the past few days, but we now know a lot more about ourselves as well.
“We need to work as hard as we possibly can to get these girls the help that they deserve, they’ve fought really hard over the weekend and I’m proud of what they’ve shown.”
The Queens will head down to St. Albans to play the Wolves at Oaklands College on Wednesday Sept. 29th in their final WBBL Cup Group C match.
Written by Oliver Jones.