Rockets fell to a defeat against Manchester Mystics on Sunday despite a third quarter comeback that will give faith that a first win of the season is on the horizon.
Rockets were without leading scorer Michelle Turner, whilst Milly Harrison and Grace Turton also missed the trip to Manchester.
After a shaky first few minutes, Coach Peter’s women rallied to pull themselves back into the game, with Kazz Devine-Henry putting us 7-6 up with five minutes gone.
Mystics then went on a scoring run, establishing a five point lead, as Rockets missed a number of chances to draw level or even pull ahead.
Manchester ruthlessly exploited this succession of missed chances, finding themselves 16-12 ahead at the end of the first quarter, despite five late points from captain Felicite Umuhoza.
The second quarter started with an emphatic series of points from our hosts to put themselves 9 points up within the first few minutes.
Antoinette Torgbi was able to reduce the damage from a couple of free throws as the quarter wore on, putting Rockets on 18 points with two minutes of the quarter remaining.
However, Mystics soon extended their advantage to double figures, leading 31-18 at the break.
Both teams enjoyed good starts to the third quarter, with Rockets scoring ten in a matter of minutes to narrow the deficit to ten points, before impressing scoring from Enke Pashaj reduced the deficit to three as Rockets looked to fight their way back into the game.
Torgbi then brought us within a single point of our hosts, before a free throw from Mystics put them on 40 points going into the final quarter.
Our debutants were crucial in making this comeback, with Torgbi and Sophie Mansfield contributing to some of the best defensive play from our team this year.
Indeed, the third quarter was our most productive spell of the season so far – with the 21 point quarter seeing us go into the final stretch just one point behind the high-flying Mystics.
Our hosts scored two points shortly after the restart, with the minutes after characterised by missed chances and scrappy play by both sides.
However, Rockets’ failure to capitalise on good opportunities, coupled with Mystics newfound scoring abilities, meant that we were ten points behind halfway through the final quarter.
They then extended this lead to 15 points, and in the end won the game 56-41, leaving Rockets still looking for their first win of the season.