A final shot in the dying seconds of the game, saw a thrilling win for Mansfield Giant’s women’s team against long established Sheffield Hatters, in a 67-66 victory in their opening EBL Division Two match last weekend.
The Giants team knew they would have a tough match on their hands, facing a young team and still being without a couple of key players due to injury.
With a positive frame of mind and a good pre-season behind them, the game started in the Giants’ favour, going 11-4 up in the first seven minutes.
The Hatters fought back and re-found their strike to come back to trail by just two points going into the second quarter.
It was during the second quarter the Hatters began to take control, forcing the Giants to keep composed and use their height advantage.
There was a solid team effort from the Giants, with everyone on court making an offensive contribution, including the inside threat of Charlotte Levitt, Krista Van Alten and Jade Clemenson, all adding points to the board.
The Giants continued to use their experience and played to their strengths during the second half as the Hatters came out fighting to take their lead to nine points.
But sister duo Sarah and Katie Taylor put pressure on the Hatters’ guards, converting some much needed fast break points, closing the gap.
Giants captain Alison Bridge then stepped in to add two vital consecutive baskets with just five minutes remaining, starting a race against the clock to close the gap.
With 10 seconds remaining on the clock, Giants were trailing by just one point and coach Jo Richards called a time-out to organise the team and send them back on court with the task of getting a final basket. And the atmosphere in the crowd was at its peak as 16-year-old Chloe Gaynor stepped up to take the winning shot for the Giants on the buzzer.
The women are back in action at home this Saturday against Loughbrough Student Riders II (4.30pm) at Oak Tree Leisure Centre.