Hull Wasps narrowly missed out on a National Shield Semi-Final spot after losing 83-72 to Division Three club Ipswich Tomcats on Sunday evening.
Despite the disappointment of the previous night, the Wasps tipped off against V-Cars.co.uk Division 3 Leaders Ipswich Tomcats with renewed confidence, playing in the biggest match in their history knowing they had already beaten Division 3 opposition to reach this stage.
However, once again Wasps got off to a slow start, but with a solid defensive effort they were able to keep the defecit to just 4 points, trailing 20-16. What was lacking in the first quarter was a contribution from this season's star player Matt Brutnell; the second quarter received just that as good work and clinical execution from Brutnell enabled Wasps to clraw back the defecit to tie the score at half time. 37-37.
Roared on by the biggest crowd of the season, Wasps worked hard in the third quarter to gain the upper hand but were unable to match the Tomcats' clinical offense. Despite continued good work from Brutnell, the rest of the Wasps were unable to make any telling contributions and break down their stifling defence and trailed 61-52 going into the final ten minutes.
The Wasps put together a strong fourth quarter but were unable to make any headway into the Tomcats' lead, slipping to an agonising first home defeat of the season of 83-72.
Following the spirited performance from the home team, Wasps coach Fawcett said: "I'm extremely proud of my players but also very disappointed for them. We put in a very good performance tonight and I couldn't be more proud of the way that we battled.
"When the scores were level at half-time we knew we had a chance but they were too strong for us in the end. It shows how well we can perform at this level.
"Our fans were amazing and really got behind us. Congratulations to Ipswich and I wish them the best of luck for the rest of the tournament."
Top scorers for Wasps - Brutnell 22, Neil Rymer 11, James Rayner 7.
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