Another fabulous weekend for the free flowing Tigers saw the Division 2 form team complete an impressive 20 point win over local rivals Tamar Valley before setting the standards with a 26 point win over league Champions Derby Trailblazers. Derby had secured the Division 2 title only the night before away to 2nd place Bristol and nobody could have predicted the result that would follow on Sunday against Taunton. Derby, who arrived with a large vocal travelling support, quickly demonstrated why they had only lost once all season, scoring 31 points in the first quarter, however it was soon the Tigers supporters who were lifting their team to new heights.
Driven on by the loudest supporters in the league, Tigers quickly demonstrated why they themselves had only lost one game in the last ten. Star guards, Joe Andrews and Matt Nolan picked up three early fouls each but their replacements Alistair Bird and Joe Saunders not only filled their shoes but also filled up the basket with a barrage of three point shots.
Intense defence supported by relentless fast breaks allowed Taunton to go in at the halt time break 44 – 41 ahead. The key reason for Tigers recent form has been the ‘strength of their bench’ as Derby were about to find out.
As the Trailblazers began to tire the Tigers showed fresh teeth. Richard and Kevin Anderson would provide new impetus inside the zone whilst Howe, Sebire and Puncewicz maintained the intensity on defence. Tigers President, Richard Frost was ecstatic after the game,
“It is this type of performance that gives the whole club a lift. There are dozens of volunteers that make the whole thing possible, this is the perfect way for the players to say thank you to those people.”
The double win sets up a fascinating last game of the regular season against the Mansfield Express. Taunton will be looking to stop them in their tracks in the knowledge that a win will secure a guaranteed third place and favourable draw in the playoffs.
Meanwhile Mansfield will be desperate for the win that they need to avoid relegation. Come and join the carnival atmosphere on ‘Sponsors Day’ this Saturday at Wellsprings starting with the U16 Boys at 15:45 and followed by Taunton Tigers vs Mansfield Express at 18:00.