Flames’ fi­nal hopes flicker af­ter big loss

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - JON TUXWORTH

THE Townsville Flames’ QBL fi­nals hopes have taken a hit af­ter Glad­stone Port City Power skip­per Ta­batha Richard­son- Smith in­spired her team to a 86- 69 road win last night.

Richard­son- Smith was in­spi­ra­tional with a mon­strous 40 points, eight re­bounds and five as­sists as the vis­i­tors dom­i­nated the sec­ond half to leapfrog the Flames into fourth spot on the lad­der. In- form Flames cen­tre Darcee Gar- bin racked up 27 points and 10 re­bounds, but com­mit­ted eight of her team’s 21 turnovers as Townsville was made to pay for a sloppy of­fen­sive dis­play.

The two sides were dead­locked af­ter three quar­ters but the Power dom­i­nated the fi­nal term 30- 13 as the Flames’ shoot­ing dried up.

Young cen­tre Garbin, who re­cently signed a new WNBL deal with Townsville Fire un­til the end of 2020, scored 18 points in the first half to help the Flames to a 37- 33 lead at the main break.

But the hosts had no an­swer for Richard­son- Smith, while Charmian Mel­lars ( 15 points, 13 re­bounds, seven steals) was also in­flu­en­tial for Glad­stone.

In the men’s clash, Townsville held off a de­ter­mined Glad­stone to score a hard- fought 96- 88 win.

The home team led by 13 points at half­time, 51- 38, be­fore the vis­i­tors fought back to tie the scores 76- all with less than six min­utes to go. Townsville were able to re­gain con­trol and se­cure the vi­tal win.

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