Taunton Tiger's Men travelled to Bristol Academy Flyers last Saturday in the hope of building on the two impressive wins they have had recently over strong opposition. Tigers welcomed back Tad Gray and Paul Yabsley who are slowly regaining their fitness and integrating themselves back into the team, but are still without the sharp shooter Joe Andrews and young gun Jordan Seeley.
Due to a family marriage abroad, Ronnie Heath Tigers head coach and all around basketball guru was missing so his shoes where filled by the sidelined Andrews and Captain Graham Jones.
The game started slowly for both teams with neither gaining control nor showing intensity at either end of the floor, Yabsley showed his class early going coast to coast and finishing strongly over the 6ft 10 Flyers centre. As the quarter came to a finish Bristol took advantage of their strength and height getting several easy put backs to gain a slender lead. With some wise words from Andrews, the Tigers began to raise the pace of the game and play some of the Tigers defence they are renowned for, it was K. Anderson that started this with some fantastic offensive movement and tenacious defence. Jones followed this lead and showed why he is the captain of the team controlling the tempo and matching the physicality of the Flyers. With the Tigers beginning to kick into gear the Flyers began to look to their bench for inspiration but it was the Tigers who showed their strength in depth with Dangerous Dan Howe and Alistair ‘Gunner’ Bird frustrating the Flyers front court. The Tigers began to claw back some of the early Flyers lead and went in at the half only trailing by 8 points.
The second half started much the same as the game with both teams looking down beat and the Flyers began to extend the lead again crashing the boards and also knocking down some long range shots. The Tigers once more felt the wrath of coach Andrews and began to kick into gear, with the vocal travelling support the Tigers showed their quality with R. Anderson pulling off only his second spin move of the season to score freely inside. This opened the court and saw some great ball movement from the Tigers which the Flyers struggled to keep up with. As the end of the game drew close the Tigers pushed hard up the floor, leaving gaps that the Flyers took advantage of to increase the lead slightly to 12. A couple of deep threes from Yabsley and Sebire down the stretch, saw the Tigers end the game in style but not quite enough to beat the Flyers.
The Tigers travel away on Saturday to Birmingham to play Aston and then returned on Sunday for a home fixture against Team Nothumbria 5pm tip off at Wellsprings.