Mansfield Giants dramatically beat Hull Panthers 68-67 won the final play of the game to bring the curtain down on their season.
The side went in to the game with a number of key players out through work commitments and illness.
They faced an uphill battle from the start with Hull using the support of their home crowd to storm ahead to a 17-9 lead.
However, Giants used their experience to call a time out and they re-grouped with Jade Clemenson and Charlie Levitt dominating inside, before Katy Taylor nailed a ‘3’ on the buzzer to give Giants a 19-17 lead at the end of the quarter.
The game was a physical one with Giants getting increasingly frustrated, resulting in an early technical foul and team foul trouble in the second quarter.
But once again, Levitt and Clemenson used their height advantage to keep the Panthers in check with each side scoring 19 a piece as Giants taking a two point lead into the second half.
And the Giants came out in the second half with a renewed energy, with Jo Richards sinking back-to-back ‘3’s’ to give the Giants an eight point cushion. Hull fired back with some sharp shooting of their own seeing as they pulled the gap back to two points going into the final quarter.
Moving into the final stretch and the atmosphere from the Hull crowd was building as they sensed an opportunity to claim the game.
However, tensions were rising on court with both teams yet again receiving technical fouls.
Giants Captain Alison Bridge showed her poise by sinking some tough free throws under pressure, but it all came down to the final play after Levitt made a huge putback with just 11 seconds on the clock to leave Giants with the task of defending their one point lead.
As Hull made a last ditch attempt to score, Levitt scrambled for the ball fouling the player on the floor and a controversial call saw the player issued two free throws.
It was after a long discussion between the refs that the decision was reversed, giving Hull the end line ball with just 1.5 seconds remaining. It was too much of a tall order for the home side as Giants claimed their final victory.
After the game coach Jo Richards said: “The team really dug deep today under some difficult conditions and we missed a couple of key players, which didn’t help us with our rotations.
“It’s a great way to finish the season. The team has worked hard and we have made good progress that we can hopefully build on for next season.”
Scorers; 21 Levitt, 15 Richards, 12 Jones