The Taunton Tiger's Men secured one of their biggest wins of the season on Saturday when they made the short journey south to play local rivals Plymouth Raiders. The final score does not reflect the competitiveness of the game or the spirit with which the young raiders side played. Throughout the first half Plymouth always managed to keep within 10 points of the Tiger's despite them missing several of their key players, including Taunton native Tim Clifford who was sidelined after an injury suffered during a training session earlier in the week.
The Tiger's had a good start to the game dominating inside from the off and despite never quite getting away from Plymouth during the first three periods, it never looked like they weren't in control. With all 11 players getting plenty of court time the Tiger's were able to keep the pressure on, with fresh legs coming in as soon as anyone looked like they were getting tired. Despite getting some good open looks at the basket during the first half the Tiger's weren't able to capitalise as they missed a number of their outside shots. Meanwhile Plymouth were taking advantage of unforced errors from Taunton with good fast break play, scoring lay-ups at the other end.
The second half began in much the same way as the first with the two teams going tit for tat, never separated by more than a dozen points. Towards the end of the third however, the Tiger's superiority began to show. Pressure defence and better transition effectively cut off Plymouths supply of fast break points whilst Tiger's went on a scoring spree; knocking down 3 point shots and making good inside plays.
It wasn't until the fourth quarter that the score really opened up when the Taunton's guards started really knocking down shots from the outside. Plymouth had no answer for the now steady stream of 3 pointers coming from the Joe Andrews, Alastair Bird and Joe Saunders, who at one point hit 3 in a row. Joe Andrews finished the game with 21 points, Rich Anderson 15 and Alastair Bird 14. It was a solid all-round team performance which has helped solidify Taunton's 3rd place in the league. Credit must be given to the Raiders who played hard all game despite a number of their players out with injurys.