VIDEO: Action from Cyclones match on Saturday night

FRENCHVILLE Sports Club Cyclones mentor Chris Muggeridge entered his maiden QBL women's campaign set on soaring to lofty heights.

Muggeridge raised some eyebrows earlier in the year with his bold predictions about taking the Cyclones to the promised land in his first year in charge.

A rookie QBL coach, Muggeridge was determined to steer the Cyclones into the finals for the first time in the club's history.

He can now tick that off the list after the Cyclones' 79-72 semi-final win over Ipswich Force at Hegvold Stadium on Saturday night.

Now he has the Cyclones gunning for their maiden QBL women's title and will head north to Mackay later in the week to unseat reigning QBL women's champions Mackay Meteorettes.

QBL WOMEN

SEMI-FINAL

Rockhampton Cyclones 79 (C Jones 29, I Hemingway 15, K Clifford 14) def Ipswich Force 72 (C Schweers 24, B Brown 21, L O'Sullivan 9) at Hegvold Stadium on Saturday night.

When star US recruit Iasia Hemingway went down in the Cyclones' quarter-final win over Port City Power last weekend many thought the Cyclones' chances would tumble.

But Hemingway picked herself up off the floor, made a miraculous recovery and returned to Hegvold Stadium on Saturday night to inspire her teammates to move within striking distance of the 2014 premiership. With her knee heavily strapped, Hemingway was injected into the contest after the opening exchanges and contributed 15 points during nearly 25 minutes on court.

Fellow US import and QBL women's player of the year Chandrea Jones had a massive game and went within a whisker of a triple double. Jones delivered a game-high 29 points to go with her 17 rebounds and seven steals. A "stoked" Muggeridge struggled to describe his feelings after Saturday night's win.

"It's hard to explain the feeling," Muggeridge said after the seven-point win.

"I suppose I'm just humbled by it and happy that we've achieved our goals that we set out at the start of the season.

"In the very first interview I did at the start of the year they asked me, 'Where do you think you will finish up and what's your goals?' And I said 'finals'.

"Everyone sort of looked at me weird and thought I was off my head, but we've achieved what our goal was from the start of the season and we couldn't be happier."

Muggeridge said his side took a simple approach into the do-or-die semi-final.

We knew if we worked hard and worked smart and consistent we'd have a shot at the title and we've come away with that," he said.

"We just had to do things as a pack and stay together, stay strong and stay confident ... the girls stood up and did what they needed to do and pulled away."

Mick Virgo has his name etched on the 2014 QBL women's coach of the year trophy.

Virgo led the Meteorettes to the top of the ladder at the completion of the regular season and now has his side gunning for a third straight QBL women's title.

But should Muggeridge achieve his mission this weekend it'd be hard to deny him of the honour of the title of QBL women's No.1 coach.



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