Celtic Tigers finish strong to clinch grand final spot
Celtic Tigers Green have put in a strong second half effort to come away with the win against Exies Acmy in the Monday night A women competition at the MARS Minerdome.
It was a first versus second showdown for a spot in the grand final and the all-important week off.
The game started with both teams looking to set up defensively which suited Exies Acmy just fine. Melbourne Boomers development player and local Rush star Kasey Burton got the team going with some early baskets and general control of the ball.
The Celtic Tigers were creative in their ability to get to the basket but their efficiency cost them early with Ryleigh Haire the shining light, sparking the Celtic Tigers early in the game with good aggressive driving and making an impact on the Exies Acmy defence and the scoreboard. She was not the only one with Emma Ferguson dominant under the basket making her efforts count on the scoreboard. However the difference in the first half was Exies Acmy Olivia Jones, she was instrumental in creating fast breaks and delivering on the scoreboard on her way to a game high 11 points.
At the half time break Exies Acmy lead 28 points to 19 with game being closer than the scoreboard suggested. Exies Acmy put the Celtic Tigers on the ropes early in the second half with points to Emma Hills and Olivia Jones extending the lead to 14 points. However to the Celtic Tigers credit that didn’t deter their belief of overcoming the deficit, with strong defence and their ability to capitalise on their scoring opportunities suddenly the game was in their grasp.
As the game grew closer and game clocked ticked down even the crowd could sense that the game was going down to the wire with the final minute of play delivering everything this game promised to deliver.
Prue Scott put the Celtic Tigers in front by two points with forty seconds to play and with both teams able to score again before the end of the game it was Exies Acmy turn to return fire on the scoreboard and it came through Emma Hills strong drive that lead to a trip to the free throw line in which she very casually put Exies Acmy up by one point with twenty seconds remaining. However in what seemed impossible at half time became a reality with the Celtic Tigers Emma Ferguson recovering a rebound to score the match winning points ensuring the Celtic Tigers a spot in the grand final with Exies Acmy to now face Phoenix for their spot in the decider.