Gems pull off cup shock to reach national semis

The Gems pictured last year.
The Gems pictured last year.

Encon Derbyshire Gems upset the form book to defeat Birmingham Elite from a higher division and make the semi-finals of the national cup team.

The Gems defied their status to take the final quarter 28-6 and complete a 87-73 comeback victory.

Gems guard Nerea Iniguez scored the first basket of the game quickly followed by eight points from inspirational captain Kate Loftus.

Birmingham responded with quality play and led 28-19 after the first quarter.

They pulled further ahead before a major blocked shot from Kate Loftus and a run of scores from Jo Claydon changed the game.

Baskets from Steph Ogden and Kendal James and good hustle from Frankie Harper cut the deficit to 46-38.

In the third quarter, after Birmingham again seemed to be pulling away, good work from Kendal James and Nerea Iniguez gave the Gems hope.

Laurie Causeur made a basket and clever assist while Jo Claydon continued to gather points. The Gems finished the quarter 65-59 behind.

The underdogs then stiffened their defence and with clever passing and clinical finishing pulled off the shock.

Scorers: Nerea Iniguez 23, Jo Claydon 21, Steph Ogden 12, Kate Loftus 11, Kendal James 8, Rachel Campbell 4, Jade Clemson 4, Laurie Causeur 4.