Flyers grounded by freak weather event

Cheryl Chambers and the Southside Flyers did not travel to Townsville over the weekend due to the development of Cyclone Kirrily. 375856 Picture: PICS BY TRE

By Marcus Uhe

The development of Cyclone Kirrily in North Queensland could have serious ramifications for the Southside Flyers’ WNBL campaign, after their clash with Townsville scheduled for Saturday 27 January was postponed.

After the closure of Townsville Airport on Thursday 25 January, it was decided that Saturday’s contest between the Flyers and Fire would not go ahead.

“The league has been monitoring the Cyclone throughout the week, and been in regular communication with both Clubs regarding making a decision on whether the game will proceed,” the WNBL said in a statement on Thursday.

“With the airport closure this morning, and in the interests of athletes and community welfare, a decision was made earlier today that the game would not proceed.

“The league will now work with both teams to attempt to find a suitable date to reschedule the game.”

If the game is unable to be rescheduled, the win/loss percentage of the teams affected by the abandoned game will be determined by one less game.

Southside sits precariously in third position, one win/loss percentage point ahead of Sydney in fourth and nine ahead of Perth in fifth, while only two behind Melbourne in second, meaning the impact of the Townsville game will have significant ladder implications.

Just two rounds remain in the regular season.

The Flyers had their three-match win streak ended by the Flames in Sydney on Thursday night in a 102-81 loss.

The home side stormed out of the blocks with a 53-35 first half before holding the Flyers at bay for the remainder of the contest, despite a near-even second half.

The two sides had met just a fortnight earlier, with Southside sneaking home by six points at home, but this result was vastly different.

Sydney shot a scorching 50 per cent from the three-point line and 53 per cent from the field overall, dwarfing Southside’s 36.8 and 42.9 percentages, respectively.

Speed and sharing the basketball were the keys to the early separation of the two sides, a smaller Sydney outfit running the Flyers off their legs in transition and in the half-court with pinpoint, unselfish passing.

While the second quarter saw a healthy diet of drive and kick from the home side, collapsing the defence and finding open shooters scattered around the perimeter.

The veteran pair of Lauren Jackson and Rebecca Cole led the way for Southside in scoring 17 points apiece but were joined by only Leilani Mitchell and Jasmine Dickey in scoring in double figures.

By comparison, Sydney had six, led by reigning WNBL MVP Cayla George with 21.

Southside next faces Perth on Wednesday night at home.

The game against Townsville is yet to be rescheduled at the time of publication on Tuesday morning, 30 January.