Plymouth City Patriots come here after completing the double so far (and obviously looking for the treble), in the league they finished with a 9 & 1 record, losing only to Exeter Spartans in the league (who they coincidentally beat in the Cup Final).

 

Taunton Tornados finished 2nd with a 7 & 3 record.

 

They have met twice in the league this year (the first and last games of the season), 33-46 Patriots in the first, and 55-44 in the last, they also met in the Cup when Plymouth won  47-44. Taunton will not want to finish the season without silverware and obviously Plymouth would like to do the treble under their new banner!

 

Patriots started on fire with 2 quick baskets, on the other hand Tornados looked like they felt like they were the under-dogs and only there to make up numbers, they were very nervous in possession and struggling to find the hoop, with 5 minutes gone they had no scored, but Emily FARTHING-CHEDZOY broke the duck and was quickly followed by Nicky RENDELL scoring, it looked like they were no in the game, but as soon as they had levelled Patriots found another gear and ended up the quarter leading 10 – 6.

 

The 2nd quarter beckoned, and Tornados had to find an answer, and the answer appeared to be FARTHING-CHEDZOY again, but although she was getting in great positions and being fouled on the shot, she was repeatedly failing from the free-throw line. For Patriots Annette COOK was leading the line and the scoring, and despite Tornados winning the quarter 11 -12, they were still trailing 21 – 18 at half time.

 

The 3rd quarter was very tentative, Jordan SZMIDT so often the leading light for Patriots was being marked well by Taunton, and the quarter ended up level scoring 9 – 9, with Plymouth still maintaining the 3-point lead 30 – 27.

 

The noise from both sets of supporters ramped up in the final quarter as Plymouth extended their lead by the 3rd minute to 7 points 36 – 29, Taunton demanded a time out and needed to re-group.

 

Whatever was said in that time out had an effect, it was now or never for Taunton, and it was Emily FARTHING-CHEDZOY and Gail HOPKINS that stood up and were counted, again and again the ball went into the paint and baskets were scored, Taunton were on a comeback, by the 8th minute Taunton were trailing by just 1 point 38 – 37.

 

This time it was Plymouth calling the time out, they had to keep the two out of the key, and the cry went out to both sets of supporters to be the ‘6th man’ for the team, ‘Defence’ was the chant for Patriots, but it seemed to no avail as Taunton scored again, and again, but Patriots maintained their lead as we reached the final minute with a 40 – 39 lead. As the seconds ticked Tornados struck first, a lead for the first time in the match 41 – 40, and not only that but they were keeping possession, Patriots had to resort to fouling to gain the ball back, first Annette COOK, it was her 5th foul and she was off, and worse still, Tornados score one of the free throws AND get possession back on the missed second with the rebound. This time is was Jordan SZMIDT’s time to take her 5th foul, PALMER on the line, scoring the 2nd free throw 43 – 40, two of Plymouth’s influential players fouled out, seconds ticking down until the final buzzer – Taunton Tornados take the Ladies Play Off Final and finish on the winning side.

 

Plymouth City Patriots were obviously disappointed with the result, but a double winning season (League Title and Cup) is a good season by anyone’s standards.

 

This was a cracking Ladies game that went to the wire, passionate supporters on both sides and a great advert for the game – well played both, the match can be relived in HD on our YouTube Channel: https://youtu.be/PRf7TIpENpQ

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