Match Report: Taunton Tigers Womens Team — 23 January 2010

Taunton Tigers vs City of Birmingham Force

Tigers' women restarted their season and kept their play-off hopes alive with a fabulous 44 – 40 win against league leaders Birmingham Force in National Division 2.

Newly appointed Head Coach, Ronnie Heath was delighted with the all-round team performance and encouraged his team to use this victory a launch pad for the rest of the season,

“Team Manager, Jim Hartston, told me that the Women are a match for anyone in this league but just lacked a little confidence. We must now believe we can and should beat anyone. The attitude from the start of my first training session last week convinced me that we have a determined group of players who are committed to learn and improve.”

Tigers came out of the blocks sharply, with both fast breaks and patient half-court offence helping to open up a 12 – 6 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The main scoring threat came from inside the paint for Taunton. Hannah Watkins worked tirelessly despite having to deal with injury and illness. However it was Laura Dyke and Emily Farthing that caused most of the damage near the hoop, with both contributing double figure to the Tigers cause.

Birmingham's Bailey inevitably started asking questions of the Tigers defence but a combination of Ridgeway, Gough and Pow made it tough for the game's leading scorer (17 points). On the offensive end Hanna Byrne (11 points) was finding space form the 3 point line to keep the scoreboard ticking to establish a 24 – 17 half-time lead.

The second half saw the Tigers offence continue to generate good shots from Hartston, Maddocks and Shaikh but with many attempts failing to drop Birmingham edged their way back into the game.

With the game entering the final stretch, Assistant Coach, Jo Woods, played a master stroke by switching Hanna Byrne to defend Bailey. Byrne clearly gave up size and strength to Bailey but Woods was rightly confident that her speed and intensity would frustrate Birmingham's play-maker. It was left to MVP Emily Farthing to finish the game off with 2 athletic moves to the basket to reward the typically supportive Taunton crowd.

Final Score: Taunton Tigers 44 – 40 City of Birmingham Force

Leading Tigers Scorers: Laura Dyke 11, Hannah Byrne 11, Emily Farthing 10