The Tigers players and coaching staff will still be scratching their heads wondering how they let this vital match slip. Having been down by as many as 24 points just before half-time, it was to their massive credit that they should have won the game, but a stutter right at the end cost them dearly.
Taunton took an eternity to get into the game as they struggled to find a way to deal with the size and aggression of their opponents. After the early exchanges took the score to 6 – 8, Chichester burst away on a 16 – 0 run which helped them to a 10 – 28 advantage at the first break. As the second quarter reached its closing stages, things had got even worse for the home side and they found themselves trailing 26 – 50. A 3 pointer from Matt Nolan and 2 points from Alastair Bird made the scoreboard look slightly more respectable at the buzzer, but there still didn’t seem to be any way back into the game.
What followed in the third quarter, though, was the most incredible shift in momentum. The spark for the revival was provided by an outstanding defensive effort from Glyn Davies, who managed to stop the ball getting into Thunder's inside players. With a strong defensive base to work from, Taunton also began to shoot the ball with confidence, draining six 3 point shots in the quarter (two each from Joe Mills and Bird, and the others from Davies and Nolan). In the space of 10 minutes, Tigers outscored Chichester 33 – 5, including a run of 28 unanswered points, and went from 31 – 50 down to 64 – 55 up.
Thunder fought back at the start of the final quarter to cut the gap to just 1 point, but scores from Ashley Palmer, Rich Nelsey, Bird and Nolan pushed the lead back out 9 points with around 3 minutes left in the game. Unfortunately, Tigers didn't find the basket again and the visitors slowly pegged them back. With just 25 seconds left Thunder nudged into a 1 point lead which proved decisive.