East London Phoenix and Cardiff Met Archers got their BWB Women’s Premier League campaigns underway in the inaugural season on Friday 28th January. Both teams join fellow founding members Worcester Wolves and Loughborough Lightning after their first WPL match last Saturday.
Captain Jade Atkin (Cardiff Met Archers) got the first points of the game, with Freya Levy putting the first points on the board for East London Phoenix soon after. After a strong start for Cardiff, East London started to gain momentum and ended the first quarter 16:10. Amy Conroy got 10 points, 3 rebounds and 1 assist in the first quarter.
The second quarter saw home team East London put the pressure on visitors Cardiff averaging a five point lead. Leah Evans made an impact in the second quarter and got 9 points and 2 steals for Cardiff. Bethany Wheeler (East London Phoenix) got 8 points, 5 rebounds and 1 steal in the first half. East London Phoenix narrowly took the first half 28:25.
Archers closed the gap as the third quarter got underway with energetic offensive plays, with the scoreline switching between the two teams. Maddison Martin (Cardiff) got 3 assists in the third quarter. Capitalising on a few defensive openings by the Cardiff side in the final minutes of the quarter, Conroy got 2 free throws and Emily Brantwaite got 2 points to put East London ahead 42:36.
In the final quarter, East London secured the win 60:36 after a huge fourth quarter from the home team. Conroy (East London) was top performer on points in the game with 26, and J. Atkin was top points scorer for Cardiff with 14 points. Wheeler (East London) was top performer on rebounds with 11. Martin was top performer in assists for Cardiff with 6 assists.
After the match, East London Phoenix’s Nik Terrell reflected on the result:
“I’m so proud of this team. We’ve come together so well, we’ve had some new additions only in the last month or so, so really quick to adjust and work out that team dynamic. I think we aced it – the team dynamic came through and the team work that we showed today, everyone had each others backs the whole way through. The bench were unreal! All the components of what makes a really good team work so well.
“We had an amazing opposition as well – Cardiff have got some amazing up and coming talent alongside people who have been in the game for quite a while who have got so much to bring to this league.”
Cardiff Met Archers captain Jade Atkin said:
“We were all excited to start together, to play together. It was a good experience and we know what to do for the next one.”
“I think [The Women’s Premier League] is a good opportunity for us to all show off what we can do, and show the world what wheelchair basketball is all about – I’m excited to show everyone.”
The next BWB WPL fixtures take place on the 12th of February. Loughborough Lightning head to East London Phoenix, and Cardiff Met Archers will have their first home game of the season against Worcester Wolves.
BWB WPL fixtures and results: https://britishwheelchairbasketball.co.uk/competition/womens-premier-league-2021-22/