Solent Kestrels Women fell to a physical 55-31 defeat to Barking Abbey at the Solent Sports complex as they continue to search for the catalyst to launch their season.
Gabriela Kostova-Dobrova top scored with 10 points and 9 rebounds whilst Ruby Laight was awarded player of the match for her industrious performance, ending with five points and five rebounds.
After a difficult start to the season, the Kestrels were eager to establish some momentum but Barking Abbey were equal to the task. The first quarter flew by in a high intensity affair with neither side being able to build a lead. Defence lead the way as loose passes and turnovers plagued both teams as flowing passing moves were interrupted at the crucial moment. A wonderful finish from Laight through contact gave her the opportunity to put the Kestrels ahead going into the second quarter 13-10.
The second quarter proved little different to the first as neither side could find a consistent rhythm of scoring. Barking edged into a slight lead before the game was paused for Lily Blunt to receive treatment after a fall with five minutes to go in the quarter. That disrupted any momentum built by either side as the halftime buzzer went with the visitors ahead by 20-13.
The third quarter initially saw a lot of hustle for little gain as the Kestrels battled for every rebound. Barking Abbey eked out further ahead as sporadic foul shots found the net. The Kestrels had there share of foul shots later on in the quarter after skilfully drawing fouls but couldn’t capitalise on the opportunities. A flurry of three pointers from Barking gave them a strong grip of the game but in the last 90 seconds of the quarter, a Kestrels onslaught saw the home team claw their way back into contention as they headed into the fourth quarter with a 36-24 deficit.
The final quarter saw Barking re-establish their perimeter game as they continued to sink three pointers. Kostova-Dobrova sparked a late revival with some good work at both ends of the court but it proved to be only a consolation as the Kestrels fell to a 51-31 defeat.
Kestrels are on the road over the next two weekends at Loughborough Riders (11th) and Thames Valley Cavaliers (18th), before they return home to face Reading Rockets at the SSC on the 25th November, you can get your tickets for that match up now!