READING Rockets Ladies made incredible use of their lifeline in the Women's National Division One play-offs with a shock 71-52 semi-final win over league winners Bristol Academy Flyers.

They had lost to Loughborough in the quarter-finals, only to be reprieved when it was discovered their opponents had fielded an ineligible player.

Rockets headed down the M4 as massive underdogs, but rose to the occasion in tremendous style, winning the quarters by margins of 15-14, 22-9, 20-16 and 14-13.

They were quick out of the blocks and were soon nine points ahead.

Bristol responded well to move 12-11 ahead, but that was the only time they held the advantage.

Another 9-0 run saw Rockets take their first double-digit cushion of the game.

With a 14-point lead at the half-way stage, the visitors extended their lead out to 20 points as they opened the third with back-to-back triples, effectively ending the contest despite a late run from Bristol in the fourth.

It is the first time in recent memory the top seeds had not make it all the way to the season's finale, underlining how impressive this result was for the Reading team coached by David Sanchez.

Monica Herranz De Antonio led the way for Rockets with 25 points, six rebounds, four assists and five steals, while Academy student Anabel Latorre Ciria added 10 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Maria Angeles Valdeolmillos Gomez finished with 10 points and five rebounds, while Noa Sanchez Marques chipped in nine points, three rebounds and two assists.

Reading's small band of supporters were unable to compete with the home fans until a German men’s team playing American football locally popped in to see the semi-final and boomed out their support for the underdogs.

They provided great encouragement for the team, who will meet Anglia Ruskin University in the final which take place in Manchester on Sunday, April 28 (1pm).

It will be an emotional day for Rockets captain Maike Delow Fasbender as she retires after the game.