British Wheelchair Basketball volunteer, players and dedicated fan of the sport, Dylan Cummings reviews the second day of action from the National Championships 2018.
Sussex Bears fought Sheffield Steelers hard for the bronze. Bears had gone undefeated in the league and looked to avenge the loss they took yesterday by establishing a 16-4 lead in the first quarter. For the second and third periods the hometown Steelers were determined to bring it back as the scores were even (16-15 and 12-12.) However, Bears continued to forge ahead and claimed the bronze after winning 63-39.
The third division final was a clash of the north and south Valleys as Tees Valley Titans took on Thames Valley Kings. Titans secured a seven-point lead over the Kings in the first quarter (18-11) and continued to outscore them by five in the second (17-12.) Kings attempted to pull it back in the third as they doubled what Titans scored (8-16) helped by Liam Barker’s 18-point total alongside his brother Reece’s 17 points. In the final ten minutes Titans pushed for glory, as through sharp scorers like Ciaran Carrigan (23pts), Josh Manson (16pts) and Brooke Mottram (12pts) they won by ten points, ending 53-43.
The Division 2 bronze saw Blackhawks face Essex Outlaws, both teams had suffered losses to each other in the league but on this day, it was the Outlaws who got the upper hand. They won by 17 points, finishing 57-40 after the game was even in the first half. Essex captain Victor Sutil’s 21 points helped contribute to a victory for the Outlaws.
The final featured a northern rematch between CWSC Panthers and The Owls. Going into the match The Owls were the favourites as they had defeated the Panthers twice in the league. However, Panthers looked to reverse their fortunes at the National Championships. In the first quarter Panthers maintained a five-point lead over Owls, a lead which they kept for the remainder of the game as they had an explosive fourth quarter. They outscored The Owls 13-2 as the game finished with a 20-point victory for the Cumbrian side, 53-33. This was helped by the likes of James Beattie (22pts), David Beattie (12pts) and Tyler Baines (10pts).
The bronze medal match for Division 1 pitched a southern derby between The Bears and GLL & Aspire London Titans. Whilst the second and fourth quarters remained even, Bears triumphed ahead in the first and third periods. Daniel Gill and Jacob Robinson both had 16 points closely followed by Ben Haigh on 12 points. The scoring power could be unmatched despite the best efforts from Abdul Barezkai and Andrew Weeks. Bears picked up the 55-46 win as the South champions advance to the Premier League next season.
The Division 1 final was another northern affair between CWSC Panthers and Sheffield Steelers. The game was fairly even in the first half although after a change in line-up from the Panthers, Kevin Hayes (Steelers) went on a shooting spree which racked up an 11-point lead for the hometown side. This was a lead that Panthers couldn’t pull back despite good shooting efforts from James Beattie who scored 15 points. Solid shooting prowess from Kevin Hayes (18pts) and Lee Fryer (15pts) allowed Steelers to pick up another 62-38 win for the hometown.
The penultimate game of the National Championships was Sheffield Steelers v Vixens in a bronze medal match. It was a neck-and-neck battle for the first quarter but the hometown Steelers forged ahead the rest of the game with precision shooting from Katie Morrow (17pts) and Maddie Thompson (16pts.) Despite defeat Leanna Adams scored more than half of Vixens total points with 16 points personal but it was the Steelers that claimed the 57-26 victory.
The final 40 minutes of play saw CWBA battle the Angels of the North for the women’s league title. CWBA came out all guns blazing as they pushed ahead by ten points in the first quarter. Angels kept it even in the second before Ally Hope and Rosie Williams talked it over with their team to once again establish dominance in the third. An astonishing hustle from the Angels in the final ten minutes reduced the deficit to single digits. The Coventry side came away with the 56-50 win. This was due to solid shooting from Joy Haizelden (22pts) and Jude Hamer (13pts) which was equally matched by Robyn Love (22pts) and Amy Conroy (17pts.) All this contributed to a thrilling game that closed out the National Championships 2018.