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After a brilliant year for Lancaster, where they became one of the strongest teams in the university and won the match which took Lancaster over the threshold to win Roses 2014, there was much anticipation for this game and hopes were high for the Women’s Basketball team to claim 4 points for Lancaster. However, with several changes to their line up, this was going to be a challenge.
York took an early lead, scoring a few early points, but not so many that Lancaster rapidly caught up. You could see the desire from both teams to get the win, a tussle on the floor between Lancaster’s Poulsen and York’s Williams emphasised the fight from both teams. Although York’s Captain, Gillian Jago, described how York had ‘a slow start’, the teams seemed very even, the First Quarter ending 10-8 to Lancaster.
At the start of the Second Quarter, York missed several opportunities and Lancaster pulled into the lead, scorching ahead by 5 points. Lancaster’s Anya Rasaiah pulled out several fantastic long range shots which, despite York’s Captain, Jago scoring 2 baskets in quick succession, meant that Lancaster further pulled into the lead.
The score had reached 24-19 to Lancaster when the whistle for Half Time went. Yet the Lancaster side still needed to consolidate their lead. With the York side playing zone defence, Lancaster were finding it quite a challenge to remain in the lead as York got closer to the Lancaster side. A strategy which the team had not met all season meant that the players were practicing and improving as they played. However, with some great baskets from York’s number 16, Sophie Bennett, who scored 5 3 pointers throughout the match, York seemed to be making a comeback.
Significantly, the crowd, despite the best efforts of the Lancaster supporters was far more vocal in support of York. With York spectators dancing around behind the hoop, Lancaster struggled to focus on making a few free throws, but managed to stay remarkably calm.
As York overtook and pulled away from Lancaster for the first time in the game, Lancaster’s Captain, Jackie Zhang went down injured, rapidly after bringing Lancaster back into the game at 53-51 York before making her way to the bench. Lancaster finally caught up, tying the score at 53 all with just seconds to go on the clock. After a basket from York, taking them 2 points ahead, York tried to run down the clock, until Bennett found an opportunity past to sneak the ball past the Lancaster defence, sealing a further 3 points and a win at 69-65 to York.
Having put so much into the match, the Lancaster team and supporters were clearly distraught, only added to by this being the last game for the final year students in the team. Lancaster’s Zhang however, spoke strongly, saying that the team ‘played tough’ and that they ‘will be back next year’. Although a disappointing result for the Lancaster team, it was a fantastic game from all the players and one which kept the spectators on tenterhooks.