Don't Miss

Derby Trailblazers 47 v 69 The Sheffield College

It was a first for both institutions at Derby College on Wednesday as Derby and Sheffield were paired against each other for the season opener as both sides played their first ever WEABL game. Both teams were made up of largely players who had come through their cities thriving female junior programmes, despite a valiant effort from Derby, it was Sheffield who ended victorious 69-47.

It started with tough defence from both teams and baskets were hard to come by. It was the Yorkshire team who were quicker to get the scoreboard rolling though as Abbey Whitehouse netted the first 7 points for the visitors. Derby created some good looks but shots didn’t drop in the early going. Kenny Hamilton and Natasha Barker scored back to back baskets to settle the host before Megan Lovett ghosted into the key with a pair of delightful floaters over the defence. Meanwhile, for Sheffield Zoe Kateregga began to find her form, she would eventually finish as the games leading scorer with 31 points. At the end of the first quarter Sheffield led 20-11. By the half they had extended the lead to 41-22 and all signs pointed to an eventual Sheffield win.

However, the third quarter and the start of the fourth were Derby’s best moments of the game. They battled hard defensively, Barker connected on several shots and Anneleise Rountree found room to net six quick points of her own. When Hamilton scored back to back baskets with 6:55 remaining, Derby had chipped away to make it 45-58. That effort had taken its toll on the Trailblazers though, Sheffield scored through Kateregga and then Ella Whitehouse as she converted an and-1 play to regain momentum for the visitors.

Derby Trailblazers Head Coach Paul Bowen said: “It was great to see a WEABL game in Derby. Many thanks to all the coaches and volunteers throughout the club that have helped make this possible, we have some excellent players and they will get even better each week playing at this level. I was delighted with how the girls fought today. We have a lot of room for improvement and a great bunch of characters that are eager to get better, so despite the loss I am feeling really positive about the season ahead.”

Natasha Barker top scored for Derby with 16 as Kenny Hamilton scored 11 and Megan Lovett added 10 more. Zoe Kateregga was in unstoppable form for Sheffield as she dropped an impressive 33 points, supported by Abbey Whitehouse on 24 and Ella Whitehouse on 9.

Next week Derby head to Myerscough while Sheffield head to Charnwood.