Match Report: Taunton Tigers Slapheads — 20 October 2010

Taunton Tigers vs Yeovil Jets

Slapheads travelled away to last seasons treble winning Yeovil Jets. The Jets had knocked the Slapheads out of the league in the semi final last season. This contest required no extra motivation and it proved to be a thrilling contest.

Slapheads came storming out of the blocks with Kieran Franklin converting on the fast break, Matt Nolan draining a three and Dave Bullock converting a silky inside move. This kicked the Jets into gear and some tough defense kept them in the game. This theme continued until the introduction of Magic Mloston off the bench to provide a much needed extra physical presence, leading to him and Bullock dominating the rebounds at both ends of the floor.

The Jets had no answer, scoring a mere 10 points in the second quarter. This was due to the Slapheads swarming defence led by Michael Sebire and the irrepressible Barry Derrick shutting down the Jets main offensive threat. The Slapheads offence was spearheaded by Matt Nolan who was unstoppable in the first half and the Jets relied heavily on Ian Spearman who's never stop running mentality kept the Jets within touching distance.

The third quarter saw the Jets improve their second quarter performance with more aggression and clinical finishing. Slapheads managed to maintain their lead through superb free throw shooting and finishing around the basket from Mike Hart. With Nolan tiring the Jets saw their opportunity to close the gap in the fourth quarter and through the excellent play of Spearman they took the lead.

Barry Derrick was harshly fouled out and with Kieran Franklin receiving his second technical in two games the game seemed to be slipping away. Kev Pattemore stepped up and scored a contested jump shot to keep the Slapheads in the game. With time running out Franklin sank two free throws and Nolan called for a full court press. The press brought consecutive steals which resulted in frustration for the jets sending the Slapheads to the free throw line. Leigh Hunt had 2 shots to tie the game with 2 seconds left, he made the first but missed the second. Bullock came up with the rebound and was fouled on his way up. With a chance to win the game he made his first and chocked on his second — overtime!

With Yeovil having numerous opportunities to win the game in the fourth quarter they showed signs of wavering with the attitude of a team that thought they had won the game and showed no urgency. The superior fitness of the Slapheads started to tell as their intensity was beginning to prevail with the Jets hanging on to tie the first overtime period. The second overtime period began with excellent ball movement causing the opponents to chase shadows, creating lay up opportunities which were duly converted. The Jets seemed to run out of steam in the second lot of extra time with the Slapheads able to hang on, eventual winners in double over-time. A great effort all-round and well deserved.

Final Score: Taunton Tigers 82 – 75 Yeovil Jets