The University of East London Women’s 1st team hosted the most important game of their season in the BUCS South Eastern 2A league against Buckinghamshire New University at the SportsDock.
Both teams entered the game fighting for the title and promotion to Division One. UEL took their unbeaten record into the match with a high level of confidence, having won their last matchup with Bucks New Uni in the away fixtures. The guests, on the other hand, also had some good memories after securing a win against UEL in the South Eastern Conference Cup back in November.
The first two minutes of the game were very tight, with UEL pushing out to a small lead as both teams appeared nervous. But UEL began to increase their lead and Bucks New Uni called a time out with four minutes left in the first quarter, down 14-8. The timeout did the trick and Bucks managed to slightly shorten UEL’s lead with some good basketball, as the first quarter ended 21-16 to the hosts.
Bucks started the second quarter aggressively and made the deficit only three points, and by the end of the 13th minute the guests had recovered from their rocky start to lead 25-23.
UEL pulled themselves back together and regained the lead with a couple of excellent threes. The last two minutes showcased the best basketball of the half with both teams swapping the lead until the buzzer went with the halftime score at 37-37.
UEL started the third quarter as the attacking team, but neither side scored in the first three minutes until two quick shots from the east Londoners put them ahead by five points. Bucks New Uni didn’t surrender for one minute and continued to play their game despite the scoreline, and halfway through the quarter Bucks were back on level terms, 45-45.
But for the rest of the third stanza, the UEL ladies dictated the pace of the match and kept it that way until the end of the quarter, taking a 54-50 lead.
The final quarter was a tense culmination of the title-decider between the two teams. Both sides started defensively with only six points being scored in the first five minutes. In the remaining five, the game swung dramatically. First UEL secured a comfortable seven-point lead, and then Bucks began to fight their way back, although UEL played well defensively.
The drama increased as time ticked down with Bucks missing two three-pointers one the same possession. But the visitors continued to press and UEL found themselves with just a two-point margin with thirty seconds remaining.
But UEL held firm and kept Bucks off the scoreboard, and then a foul in the last 10 seconds of the game gave UEL an unassailable lead and they took the title with a 73-68 triumph.
UEL finish the season with a record of 10-0, and will play next season in the second tier of BUCS women’s basketball, Division One.