Leeds continued their fantastic unbeaten start to the season this week with a comfortable 70-28 victory over Sunderland.
The visitors arrived an hour late due to heavy snow in the North, but it was the flurry of points scored by Leeds that they needed to be most wary of.
The home side’s chance to have a lengthy warm up, compared to Sunderland’s turn-up-and-play approach, paid dividends as they stormed into a 15-0 lead halfway through the first quarter; capitalising on numerous interceptions and breakaways. It wasn’t until the eighth minute that the visitors finally got on the board and were relieved for a break at the end of the first quarter, the score reading 26-2 to Leeds.
Although the scoreline suggested differently, Sunderland were no pushovers.They fought doggedly for every loose ball they could, it was just the technical ability of the hosts, Ana Gavrel in particular, that set the two sides apart. She made sure the avalanche of baskets continued until half time, with the game all but sealed with a 42-9 lead for the Gryphons.
A thirty three point lead was obviously too slender for the hosts, with Sophie Jordan adding five quick baskets at the start of the second half. 27 minutes came the breakthrough. Sunderland finally hit double figures. In the fourth quarter they even managed three unanswered baskets, the visitors were in dreamland; the highlight of an otherwise lacklustre performance.
On the home side Laura De La Terre impressed throughout with a commanding performance, scoring basket after basket and setting up many more chances for others. The 42 point winning margin at the end of the game flattered Sunderland as the Gryphons could have easily won by twice as much, not that they’ll be complaining. The ease of this victory will give them a boost in time for next week’s cup game against Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield. If they can keep this form going promotion could well be on the cards this season.
Image courtesy of Leeor Ohayon