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KESTRELS COME UP SHORT AGAINST CAVALIERS AT THE SSC


Image Courtesy - Kai Johnson

The Solent Kestrels began their new era with a 67-47 loss to the Thames Valley Cavaliers at the Solent Sport Complex in the Women’s NBL Division 1.

 

Gabi Kostova-Dobrova put in a brilliant performance with 17 points and 8 rebounds as she shone in a new role. Tilly Goddard remained an important piece of the Solent team with 13 points and 4 rebounds whilst Ruby Laight scored 9 and recorded 7 rebounds in a hard-fought performance.

 

In their first game after the departure of former head coach Robbie Connell, the Kestrels pushed their opponents into a much tougher contest than expected before the experience of the Cavaliers secured the visitors the win.

 

The first quarter didn’t mirror the two sides opposing form and places in the league table. Despite Thames being second and Solent at the foot, the visitors couldn’t stretch out a comfortable lead. Goddard and Kostova-Dobrova helped spread the ball around in offense as they were forced to find space to beat the full court press. The hard work of spreading the points throughout the squad meant that they kept in touch with the first quarter ending 12-17 to the visitors.

 

The second quarter saw the Kestrels demonstrate a fantastic defensive gameplan as they managed to go five minutes without conceding a single point whilst slowly recording some of their own. The referee’s whistle started to be heard more often as both sides saw their players throw their bodies on the line to try and win turnovers. The half ended with the Kestrels behind 26-30.

 

The third quarter saw the physical prowess of Thames Valley become more apparent as they started to utilise the space offered by Solent’s defence more efficiently. As well as scoring some rare three-pointers, Thames used the paint better as well and started to see more shots fall through the hoop successfully, ending the quarter 35-47.

 

The final quarter followed the first as Thames’ quality proved too much for interim coach Annie Scanlon to overcome. Whilst it was no means a dominant victory for Thames, in spite of the score line, the effort exerted earlier in the match had caught up to Solent and they were soon finding it difficult to reliably defend against Thames’ transitional attack. A lengthy break for an injury to a Thames player stopped any momentum for either side as the clock ran out, seeing Thames stay second and Solent at the bottom of the table.

 



 

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