Defences were definitely on top in this closely fought clash at Wellsprings last Saturday. Things started brightly enough for the Tigers. Three successful close range shots from Chris Page and 5 early points from Richard Anderson helped them to race out to a 15 – 8 lead, mid–way through the first quarter. Leicester were struggling to make their shots, but there were danger signs in that they were picking up second chance opportunities with the effectiveness of their offensive rebounding.
You can watch the full game video here or View it on Vimeo. The match report continues below.
The momentum of the game changed quickly and decisively in the last few minutes of the quarter. Taunton questioned a decision of the officials, claiming that captain, Paul Yabsley had been fouled, and were charged with a technical foul. Leicester hit both of the resulting free throws and inflicted further damage by drawing level with a 3 pointer from the follow up possession. The ever dangerous Yabsley briefly reclaimed the lead, making it 17 – 15. That was, though, the last time the home side led in the game. Warriors scored the final 4 points of the period and, having gone on a 2 – 11 run, were up 17 – 19 at the first break.
Leicester scored two quick 3s in the opening minutes of the second quarter to put pressure on the Tigers, who found it difficult to respond. 6 more points from Yabsley, and a single free throw from Page, were all they managed to muster in a spell in which turnovers helped Leicester pull away to a 24 – 37 lead. A precious 3 from Adam Rickwood and a long range 2 pointer from Sean Clifford then helped Taunton to rally slightly, but they were still 29 – 39 behind at the half.
That lead proved decisive. Although Tigers edged the second half, they just couldn't overhaul their opponents. They did manage to claw back to within 4 points in the third quarter, as they enjoyed an 8 – 1 run, which included 6 unanswered points from Clifford. At that stage the comeback looked on, but Leicester dug deep and made their opponents work exceptionally hard for open shots for the rest of the game.