Written by Omer Hagomer
Cardiff Met Archers beat Worcester Wolves 53 – 37 in a thrilling game of wheelchair basketball.
Jade Atkin finished the game with 16 points and 18 rebounds.
The first home game for Cardiff Met Archers took place at Archers Arena in Cyncoed. Archers had the home advantage, as both teams attempted to win their first game of the season. In 4 matches between the sides so far, the Archers had taken all three league matches, while Worcester won the decisive 3rd/4th play-off game between the two last year.
Archers starting 5: Jade Atkin (C), Adele Atkin, Ella Archer, Leah Evans, and Sam Hill.
Wolves Starting 5: Sarah Hope (C), Kayla Bell, Kayli English, Niamh Horan, and Jade Loughlin.
Archers won the tip off and new addition was fouled 40 seconds into the match making 1/2 free throws. Sarah Hope immediately responded with 2 points. It was a slow start for both teams as Archers called for a timeout after five minutes of action Worcester Wolves were ahead by three points, 6-3.
The rowdy atmosphere at Archers Arena with the crowd support helped Archers get back in the game. Sam Hill had an outstanding performance in the first quarter with 7 points and 7 rebounds. Towards the end of the quarter Wolves called for a timeout and made a few substitutions. Archers led by 1 point at the end of the first quarter (11 – 10).
It was a draw after 2 minutes of action in the second quarter (13 – 13). Wolves captain Sarah Hope was substituted by Elana Brand and Niamh Watson replaced Ella Archer. Hope was back in the game after taking a short break and Wolves were defending exceptionally well, they forced Archers to make a few long and somewhat inaccurate passes. The defense translated into good offence for Wolves as they took the lead (21 – 17).
The Atkin sisters showed incredible synergy that resulted in Jade Atkin scoring 2 points. The game became even more competitive as Archers fought back from the small deficit. They scored a couple of points in quick succession with only a minute left of the quarter. Archers took the lead (27 – 21).
Worcester Wolves struggled to score points in the third quarter. While Cardiff Met Archers attempted to rely on fast breaks and the speed of Leah Evans, the Wolves were quick enough to react in transition.
The third quarter was dominated by Cardiff Met Archers, as Jade Atkin found her stride and scored most of the points, Adele Atkin was also crucial in maintaining possession of the ball. Archers led by 12 points towards the end of the quarter (35 – 23) as Ella Archer scored her first 2 points of the game following an amazing pick & roll play with Leah Evans. Sam Hill was substituted by Rebecca Ganley.
Worcester Wolves made a good comeback and applied extra pressure on the ball, they attempted to close the gap and managed to score 6 points with only a few seconds remaining in the quarter. At the end of the third quarter the score was (Archers 39 – 29 Wolves).
Brooke Mottram checked into the game and instantly made a statement by scoring 2 points. However, Kayli English responded by scoring 2 points for Wolves in transition. Wolves initiated a press to enhance their defense and momentum swung in their favour, the score was (Archers 41 – 33 Wolves) A timeout was called by Worcester Wolves with 6 minutes remaining on the clock.
After the timeout, Sam Hill was back on court and continued with her impeccable shooting form adding another 2 points. Worcester Wolves used the shot clock to force Cardiff Met Archers to take challenging shots, they fought back valiantly to close a sizable gap, but the powerhouses of Archers Jade Atkin and Sam Hill were difficult to conquer. Archers closed the match (53 – 37) with a roar from the elated crowd at Archers Arena.