In an explosive weekend of basketball Taunton Tigers Men won the Nat Div 2 league fixture at home to Leicester on Saturday before going down to the same team on Sunday away in the Patron's cup semi-final.
Taunton have consistently got away slowly this year appearing to struggle with the adjustment in physicality at this level. This weekend was no different with Leicester opening up a 13 point lead by the half (45 – 32) largely on the back of dominating rebounding and loose balls.
Once again the wounded Tigers came out fighting for their lives second half and within 8 minutes had chipped away at the lead to come within 6 points. Paul Yabsley (17 points) had slowly began to impose himself on the game and the momentum had began to swing Tigers way. 4th placed Warriors clearly desperate not to lose ground to sixth placed Tigers fought for every ball, matched similarly by the Tigers now backed by the noisy home crowd.
Aggression spilled over to violence though as Nolan was head-butted by Leicester's Dylan in a held-ball situation. Richard Anderson did a fantastic job in peace making only to be engulfed in a bench clearance by the Warriors. After everyone had calmed down Dylan was disqualified alongside 3 team mates who left the bench to leave Leicester only 5 players to finish the game. A more open game followed allowing Joe Andrews (15 points) and Joe Saunders (13 points) to revel in the space. Taunton held their nerve and tempers to close the game at 72 – 62.
On Sunday in another physical encounter, Leicester once again started best opening up a 18 point lead before Taunton came back to close to 12 at the half.
The scripted comeback ensued with a more aggressive and focused team pulling within 1 point. A series of missed lay-ups in the 4th quarter however started a rapid demise. Leicester comfortably pulled away (80 – 60) to deny Tigers at the semi-final stage in the league cup for 3rd year running.
The return of Kent Crusaders to Wellsprings this Sunday 5.00pm will provide the needed opportunity to get firing again. Young fans are reminded that there are still a few places left for the Tigers Camp on 10th, 11th of February.