In a highly anticipated matchup in the WBBL, Caledonia Gladiators faced off against Durham Palatinates at the Emirates Arena. Gladiators, led by head coach Miguel Ortega, were looking to avenge their narrow loss in the previous meeting between the two teams. Meanwhile, Durham, coached by Lee Davie, were looking to bounce back after a disappointing loss to Cardiff Met Archers in their last game.
The Gladiators were without Téa Adams, who was still recovering from a shoulder injury. However, they had plenty of firepower on the court with Erin McGarrachan, Abbie Wolf, and Robyn Lewis impressing on a scoring front.
The first quarter was an intense back-and-forth battle with both teams trading baskets. Gladiators managed to take a slim 19-14 lead heading into the second quarter. The Palatinates, led by Harriet Ottewill-Soulsby and Jess Wayne, were determined to stay in the game and fought hard to keep up with the Gladiators.
However, in the second quarter, the Gladiators really stepped up their game. Their defense tightened up and they started to pull away from the Palatinates. By halftime, the Gladiators had built an 11-point lead, with the score at 33-22.
Palatinates refused to give up and continued to fight their way back into the game in the third quarter. They were able to reduce the Gladiators’ lead to 7 points heading into the final quarter.
The fourth quarter was a nail-biting affair, with both teams giving it their all. Durham managed to close the gap and tie the game with just seconds remaining. However, a solid conclusion defensively and a Robyn Lewis free throw sealed the victory.
Captain Erin McGarrachan was named the Exceed Footwear sponsored game MVP, finishing with 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists.
The Gladiators will be thrilled with their hard-fought victory, especially considering their win over London Lions just last weekend. They will now look to build on this momentum as they prepare for their next game.