A trio of clubs are celebrating being just one step away from reaching a showpiece Final during the 2019-20 season after Nottingham Wildcats, Leicester Riders and Durham Palatinates all reached the last four of the Betty Codona WBBL Trophy.
The trio took their tickets for the Semi-Finals by going 2-0 at opening weekend in the competition, on what proved to be another eventful day at the University of Essex.
Durham Palatinates grabbed the headlines as they shutdown Petermans Sheffield Hatters 60-50 to suggest they are bidding to go one better in the Trophy after having to settle for runners-up last season. Betsy MacDonald filled the highlights reel and top scored with 15 points as Durham excelled defensively in the last 15 minutes of the contest.
Trophy holders Leicester Riders continued their nice start to the new campaign by smashing their way past Cardiff Met Archers 75-43. Brea Elmore became the first WBBL player of the season to dish up a triple-double after scoring 12 points, handing out 10 assists, while she also claiming 11 boards. Kate Oliver shone brightly for Riders as well after contributing 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Nottingham Wildcats took their seat with an impressive 69-53 triumph against Manchester Mystics. Once again it was the seemingly unstoppable Jasmine Joyner who took centre stage with a stellar 22 points, 19 rebounds and 4 blocked shots.
Meanwhile Newcastle Eagles gave themselves a shot at grabbing the last spot in the Semi-Finals by easing past Caledonia Pride 73-48 to start their season on the front foot. Lisa Koop starred with 16 points and 13 boards, while Georgia Ohrdorf also got a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. The Eagles will now face Sevenoaks Suns on Sunday, with the winner joining Wildcats, Palatinates and Riders in the next stage.
Betty Codona WBBL Trophy (All Games)
Durham Palatinates 60-50 Petermans Sheffield Hatters (12-14, 21-34, 44-43)
(Palatinates – MacDonald 15, Hayward 13, Elderkin 10; Hatters – Thomas 16, Thigpen 13, Naylor/Roasrio 6)
Caledonia Pride 48-73 Newcastle Eagles (11-15, 24-38, 31-51)
(Pride – Fouraki 16, Robb 9, Storie 7; Eagles – Fuchs-Robetin 17, Koop 16, Ohrdorf 13)
Nottingham Wildcats 69-53 Manchester Mystics (16-9, 32-24, 52-41)
(Wildcats – Joyner 22, Shumpert 13, Zedlakova 10; Mystics – Djassi 17, Jones 13, Bailey 11)
Leicester Riders 75-43 Cardiff Met Archers (21-15, 36-23, 61-28)
(Riders -Oliver 17, Hinriksdottir 13, Ashton 13; Archers – Bigica 18, Kheing 7, Ferland 6)