Oaklands Wolves run into Sheffield steel in front of the BBC cameras
PUBLISHED: 18:57 09 March 2018 | UPDATED: 19:02 09 March 2018
Oaklands Wolves screentest ended in disappointing as they went down 79-60 to to Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters in the WBBL.
With the match being shown live on the BBC website, Oaklands will hope they could have attracted a whole new set of fans.
And the young side gave it everything but the second half proved costly as Sheffield turned on the style to run out comfortable winners.
It was Oaklands though who got off to the better start and opened up an eight-point lead midway through the first quarter.
Sheffield, who had lost Helen Naylor as early as the third minute to a calf injury, only reduced that by one at the quarter end but with the Hatters dominating the rebounds, the signs were there they could quite easily come back.
And so it proved as they found their groove straight from the restart.
Seven steals and 28 rebounds, compared to Wolves’ one and 17, was how they finished the half as they wiped out Oaklands’ advantage by the break.
It could have been more but a three-point effort from Tia Freeman 11 seconds from the end of the half made things a little better and left Wolves trailing 40-37.
The visitors to the EIS though were still shooting well when they had the ball, and would have started the half hoping their fitness would give them even more chances even down the stretch.
But after going almost basket for basket with Sheffield for the opening five minutes of the new half, the Wolves suddenly found themselves trailing by 13 with 10 minutes to go.
And a comeback was always unlikely from that position and so it proved.
Rachel Morris top scored for Oaklands on 13 closely followed by Lizzy Harrison on 10.
Jennifer Ashton was the star for the Hatters, claiming an incredible 21 points, five rebounds, 10 assists and eight steals.
The play-offs remain very much in reach for Oaklands but for now the league will take a back step as the WBBL Trophy gets underway with a home game against Sevenoaks Suns on March 24 next up.