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Colman grabs last-gasp winner as Fusion edge out gallant Academy Steel

CHAMPIONS Fusion secured a thrilling 44-43 win over Academy Steel to end the Steiner Premier Division in style.

The sides were locked together at 13-13 after the first quarter, but the accuracy of Fusion’s GA Nikki Colman helped her side into a 26-20 half-time lead.

Steel rang the changes and their best player, Centre Carley Stump, inspired a fightback to leave Steel trailing just 34-33 at the end of the third quarter.

Steel still had the momentum on their side, with WA George Wood outstanding.

But with just seconds to go Fusion Centre Claire Beasley set up Colman to grab the winner.

Tadley snatched a last-gap win to pip Cricketts 57-54 in their final match of the season.

They took a 15-14 first-quarter lead, then, with the introduction of best player Kim Cox, they stretched advantage to 30-24, despite the efforts of Cricketts star player Lucy Goodlife.

Cricketts hit back to narrow the gap to 42-41 and the teams then went goal for goal until Tadley edged it in the dying minutes.

Vipers and Newbury 4x4 were also involved in a thrilling contest, with Vipers running out 36-33 winners.

Newbury took a 7-6 first-quarter lead, but Vipers’ shooting duo of Jacqueline Ambrose and Beth Abinger hit form to fire their side into a 16-13 lead.

Newbury hit back in the third quarter to reduce the deficit to 26-25.

In the final quarter both sides went for it, but Vipers’ Josephine Robinson (WD) made several crucial interceptions to swing the game in her side’s favour.

Best players were Erin Cahoon for Newbury and Vipers’ Lakiesha Maxey.

Academy Sky edged out clubmates Academy Royals 48-46 in another thriller.

It was neck and neck in a superb first half, with Sky just edging it 14-13.

But with shooters Hollie Morley (GA) and Grace Cussans (GS) in fine form, Royals turned it around to lead 25-24 at half-time.

They still led 36-35 going into the final quarter, but then Sky’s shooters took charge and Eryn Robinson and Liz Brown fired them to a narrow win.

Best player were Royals’ Francesca Hand and Sky’s Hannah Kirk.

Robinsons held off a strong fightback from Brights to clinch a 51-46 victory.

Robinsons were strolling at the halfway mark as they led 29-15.

But Brights hit back to narrow the gap to 38-32 and although they continued to close in, they ran out of time.

In Division 1, Academy Sapphiresbeat Azego 65-23.

Best players were Sapphire’s GK Scarlett Wilson and Azego WA/GA Sarah Davis.

Hungerford Extras edged out Eclipse 45-44.

Extras led 25-21 at half-time, but although Eclipse hit back to within one goal they couldn’t find the equaliser.

Players of the match were Annie Chitty for Eclipse and Isla Dalgarno for Extras.

Five Bells proved too strong for Jaguars, running out 42-28 winners.

Bells were always ahead and, despite excellent work from Jaguars’ Val Wright and Mica McCafferty, they eased to victory.

Honesty Group finished on a high with a 37-33 win over Hungerford.

Mary Allsopp – in the penultimate match of a career of 40+years – and Gemma Laidlaw were in fine form, but Hungerford kept battling and reduced the gap to just two goals in the final quarter.

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