Team Northumbria’s eight game winning streak in the WBBL Championship came to an end at the hands of Sheffield Hatters.
The hosts proved too much for a depleted TN, winning by 44 points to take the 100-66 win.
Despite the scoreline, TN coach Chris Bunten was left ‘very happy’ with the resilience shown by his team.
“Last week we had it tough with injuries and we had three of our starting five out in Kara Bonenberger, Ali Gorrell and Hannah Shaw – two of those three are forwards and Ali’s a big guard so we really got killed on the inside at Sheffield,” said Bunten.
“The Hatters are really one of the better programmes in the country and have been for more than a decade – they’re big, strong and powerful. I was so happy at the half – I think we were playing some great offence. But we were struggling to contain them inside so we had to give up some shots.
“We basically ran out of steam and we had players playing that are still very new and physically this team was so much tougher than the previous week’s at Caledonia.
“It’s obviously disappointing but the score doesn’t reflect how well we played in the first half of the game. Considering the certain set of circumstances I really couldn’t be prouder of our programme.
“When it comes to the playoffs – and I welcome those three players back – we’re going to be such a tough team.
“The players who might typically be role players played a hell of a game at Sheffield and they’ve shown what they can do. If those players keep doing exactly that – coupled with Ali in contention for league MVP and with Hannah and Kara back – then we’re going to be such a tough team to guard.
“Now we’re just going to keep going about our business. We’re going to try and get people back on court and we’re going to play as hard as we can, which the girls did against the Hatters.”
Report by Jonathan Ramsay