Gloucester City Queens coach reveals what was missing as his team lose first game without Melita Emanuel-Carr in damaging defeat to Caledonia Pride

The Gloucester City Queens suffered their first loss without star player Melita Emanuel-Carr since she was controversially released in mid-January.

The Queens fell to a bruising 71-55 loss to Caledonia Pride in Edinburgh yesterday evening in a performance that showed nothing that the team stands for according to coach Jay Marriot.

“My disappointment is that we didn’t play Queens basketball the way that we played with bravery, ball movement, team work and comradery against Nottingham,” accepted a dejected Marriot, “sadly that was missing tonight.”

At the start of the campaign Emanuel-Carr was the main attraction for Queens supporters and became a fan favourite with her imposing early season form that sees her remain in the top three of the squad’s average points, assists, steals and rebound charts.

The Queens had started their inaugural season in the WBBL well with two wins in a row but saw their form drop quickly as the standards of the league started to hit home. Since October 9, they have only won one game, a run of form that saw Emanuel-Carr’s request to leave granted, causing disruption within the team.

Although Marriot’s side earnt an impressive 75-69 victory three weeks ago against Nottingham Wildcats in the first test without their former prize guard, the sudden drop in performance was reason for Marriot to worry.

“I don’t think that we managed the journey very well and we didn’t come in with the right mindset and they outplayed us, plain and simple.

“They [Caledonia] played so, so hard which I give them credit for because their energy never dropped, their effort never dropped and sadly we were far below our best even when we were in the game. You get your just deserts in that sense.

Marlee Ball in action against Nottingham Wildcats in January. (Photo by Julia Summers @JSSportPhoto)

Marriot did save room to praise temporary captain Marlee Ball who played every minute of the match, recording a match high 23 points and 11 rebounds alongside three assists.

“Credit to Marlee Ball who tried to put the team on her back and ultimately that’s what we get,” said Marriot.

Jay Marriot praises his temporary captain despite loss in Scotland

Ball is currently wearing the armband as Ireland international Maura Fitzpatrick is side-lined with a long-term injury.

The fixtures don’t get any easier for the Queens with a home game against title-chasing Leicester Riders next weekend at Oxstalls Sports Park.

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