Taunton Tigers Men team followed up a convincing 83 – 59 home win against Liverpool on Saturday with a thrilling 74 – 73 away win against local Rivals Tamar Cannons at Marjons College Plymouth. The 2 wins moved Taunton from 9th to 4th in the table.
Saturday's home win against Liverpool was a remarkably comfortable ride for Taunton. Liverpool's Polish international Zaranbski (25 points) and the speedy Onuratt (19 points) were always a handful but they simply could not match the depth of the Tigers Roster. Taunton are still missing several key players but were able to field a strong ten at the weekend who exposed Liverpool's weaker guards and punished any lags due to tiredness. Captain Jones, who rallied his troops to collect the MVP award, was well supported by Rich Anderson (19 points) and Dan Howe (12 points).
Injuries may well have scuppered Coach Heath's target of being one of the best defensive teams in the league, but the Tigers have surprised everyone by leading all scorers after 5 league games in National Division 2.
It was defence however that won the day on Sunday against the Cannons. The return Paul Yabsley from long term injury gave Taunton a much needed physical boost. Travelling Tigers fans were left without finger nails as the game to and frowed. Tammar opened up a 21 – 16 first quarter lead only to see a blistering 2nd quarter by Taunton drive them to a 43 – 34 lead at the half helped by Joe Saunders who scored all of his 9 points in one incredible minute.
Tamar came back again in the 3rd to lead 58 – 54 with Deng Deng (Brother of Chicago Bulls Luol) leading the charge for Tamar. Inevitably this one was going down to the wire. Tigers fought back only to see Captain Jones having to leave the game with 5 fouls whilst influential Nolan left the floor early with an ankle injury.
Nevertheless the Tigers had the ball with 9 seconds to go and 1 point down. Kevin Anderson passed short to Bird who immediately fed the flying Yabsley who drove to the basket with 3 seconds remaining. With everyone expected the shot over Cannon's Deng, Yabsley (19 points) had the presence of mind to dish to Richard Anderson who shot the buzzer beating lay-up to win the game.