Essex Rebels Claim Runners-Up Title in Betty Codona Trophy Final
In their first major Final appearance since joining the Women’s British Basketball League in 2018, the Essex Rebels showcased determination and grit but came up short in the Betty Codona National Trophy Final in Birmingham on Sunday afternoon with a 67-83 loss against a very strong London Lions’ side.
Despite a great team effort by the Rebels, led by Dayzsha Rogan’s 15 points, it wasn’t enough against the four-time Betty Codona Trophy winners and Eurocup contenders, the London Lions, who demonstrated their experience and depth throughout the game.”
GB Captain, Temi Fagbenle, and US Import, Megan Gustafson, started strong for the Lions, but Rogan’s jumper and Katherine Tudor’s efforts kept Essex in the game.
The second half saw a more aggressive Essex side, sparking a comeback, but London’s stars Karlie Samuelson and Gustafson ensured the Lions stayed in control, maintaining a substantial lead by the end of the third quarter. Although the Rebels displayed determination until the final buzzer, the reigning champions held on to claim victory in the 2024 Betty Codona Trophy Final.
Team Captain, Claire Paxton, said to BBC Essex, “they are a really tough team, obviously they are playing at one of the highest levels in Europe… We settled into the game and stuck to the game plan a bit more, we did see success in what we were trying to do. I am proud of the girls and overall, I think, we enjoyed the moment and that’s what we can ask for when we play in an atmosphere like this, this is quite new for few of us.”
In an interview with BBC Essex Sport, head coach Cookson added, “I think we definitely were going in as the underdogs but we still have to believe throughout the team that we can beating them…but we need to be punishing all the mistakes that they make and unfortunately we didn’t do that yesterday.” He continues “it is very special [getting to the final], I have actually been involved in 3 finals myself in an assistant coaching capacity so this is the first time as head coach in a final and it is a big achievement for the club. The club has come long way in the last 5 years, it is big for the University and it is big for the Rebels.”