NASTY SETBACK: Ipswich Force captain James Legan is in hospital after breaking his leg in Saturday night's QBL match in Brisbane.
NASTY SETBACK: Ipswich Force captain James Legan is in hospital after breaking his leg in Saturday night's QBL match in Brisbane. Megan Low

More torment for Ipswich after luckless breaks

IPSWICH Force coach Brad George would have liked an extra game today to correct what went wrong last night.

In a state league round where the Ipswich Force men lost fearless captain James Legan to a career-threatening injury, the Force women were ruing their own misfortune.

With his team walking the Queensland Basketball League finals' tightrope, George was disappointed with Ipswich's latest 75-72 loss to South West Metro Pirates.

"We shot poorly . . . we just let ourselves down,'' George said, noting his team's below standard 47 percent record from the free-throw line.

"They (South West) were a really big side. We were just a little bit flat.''

Although having an opportunity to win the away match, Force were unable to replicate their performances of the previous two weeks.

Beating the team below them would have bolstered Ipswich's top eight prospects.

But Force are now relying on a strong finish to secure a playoff spot. Their quest continues when Force face Toowoomba on Friday night and Logan next Sunday in crucial away matches.

"I'm confident we'll get there. I'm just disappointed about that bit of momentum shift last night,'' George said.

The Force men's season of torment continued when Legan suffered a serious leg break in last night's match at Hibiscus Sports Complex.

Legan was hospitalised and expected to receive surgery overnight after the nasty setback in his team's 105-97 loss to the Pirates.

Loyal Ipswich teammate Jason Ralph summed up the situation perfectly as he prepared to visit Legan in the PA Hospital.

"It's devastating,'' Ralph said.

Play was stopped for 45 minutes while Legan was attended to with three minutes and 40 seconds left in the last quarter.

Ralph was unsure how Legan's right leg was broken.

"I've seen the footage and I can't really tell whether he's landed on someone's foot or it's just on the edge of the foot where the toes are, or just landed on the ground.''

Having chatted to Legan in hospital, Ralph felt for his popular and dedicated skipper.

"It will be a pretty long process to get back,'' Ralph said.

In a season where Force had so many nailbiting losses, Legan's injury compounded Ipswich's pain.

"If that injury didn't happen to James last night, we would have won the game,'' Ralph said. "We were coming back. We were on a roll.

"I think we've lost about seven games all within single digits now.

"We just can't get over the line. It really hurts.''

However, as the Force men play for pride in their remaining games, Ralph's immediate thoughts were with Legan.

State of play

QBL men: South West Metro 105 def Ipswich Force 97 (Ben Wilson 17, James Legan 16).

QBL women: South West Metro 75 def Ipswich Force 72 (Shenita Landry 18, Markel Walker 13).

Next matches: Friday - v Toowoomba in Toowoomba. Sunday: v Logan at Logan.



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