Leicester Riders beat Durham Palatinates 76-74 to lift the 2019 WBBL Trophy.

Kate Oliver was the game’s MVP with 16 points as the holders mounted a successful defence of their title.

But they were made to work to the bitter end by the first-time finalists.

The Australian centre pushed the Riders into an early blitz with eleven unanswered points in the opening quarter and then a further 12-3 run.

However Durham finally awoke with a shot from almost mid-court by Croatian veteran Monika Bosilj on the buzzer to end the period inspiring an 15-3 surge that put the underdogs in front and ignited a tit-for-tat battle that would run almost to the end.

Up 37-36 at half-time, Leicester opened the third period on a 12-4 run to keep the opposition at arm’s length but were hit by the loss of young star Holly Winterburn whose ankle injury saw her carted off the floor in a wheelchair.

Despite Durham coming within a single point in the sliding minutes, they could not find one late surge as free throws were swapped with Brea Elmore having the very last say from the line.

“We knew that they were gonna come out fighting so we had to come out even harder and I think we did a great job,” Oliver said.
“They were not getting roll over and let us take the Championship so we had to fight all the way through.”
Harriet Ottewill-Soulsby led Durham with 18 points and eight rebounds.
“I’m really pleased with how we played – it was a team effort,” the Palatinates captain said.
“It came down to the final moments and we didn’t get the shots we needed. It might have taken us time to adjust to the big arena and calm ourselves, but we were soon back on track and focused on helping each other out.”

Game Stats

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