A capacity crowd at Wellsprings in excess of 350 saw Tigers fail to make it six wins in a row in the men's Division 1 of the National League when losing to local rivals Bristol Flyers in their last home game of the season.
You can watch the full game video here or View it on Vimeo. The match report continues below.
It was always going to be a very keenly contested meeting, with Flyers wanting a win to keep pressure on the two teams above them in the league and Tigers striving to lay their 'Bristol Bogey' and challenge for fifth or four spot and their best ever placing in the League.
So it proved in a thrilling match with only 2 points separating the teams in the visitors favour at the end of the first quarter. But Flyers capitalised on their slight advantage immediately after the break to go 8 points ahead after McGlaughlin-Williams scored from outside the arc. However, Tigers clawed their way back to again be within 2 points, before Flyers' American drained another three pointer to increase the gap.
Some good ball movement by home side enabled ‘Spud’ Kearney to net a 2 followed by two successive 3 pointers to reverse the situation and put Tigers' 5 points ahead. A Streete drive closed the gap but Kearney had the final word of the quarter netting another from downtown to put Taunton 6 points in front going into the locker room.
Bristol turned the tables after the mid-way break, seeing them go on a 9 – 2 run to regain the lead. Despite a number of turnovers by both sides and a reluctance by Tigers to shoot from outside they fought back to regain a 5 point lead. This prompted a time-out call by Flyers Coach Kapoulis. The following Bristol plays leveled the game with 2 minutes of the quarter left. The visitors surge continued – with their defence limiting all of Tigers' remaining scores to free throws and enabled them to end the quarter 5 points ahead.
Bristol started the final quarter strongly and completely disrupted Taunton's play and negate any home attack. This enabled the visitors to fly away on a 10 – 0 run and extend their lead to 15 points. Again Tigers retaliated with a 10 – 3 run of their own to half the deficit, but after this final effort the home side were always struggling to get back on terms. Despite some determined scoring drives by home captain and top scorer Yabsley, the visitors eventually ran out 81 – 70 winners.
Reflecting on the game Tigers' Head Coach Kambouris capitulated in saying,
“Bristol made some big shots in the second half. I told our guys though, that tactically I could have made some adjustments much sooner. To me this was a big factor in the result of the game.”