With their first team unbeaten and topping the league Tile Hill Trojans 2 were hoping they could get onto the victory trail themselves when they travelled the short distance to Woodlands, but Warwick China Red had other ideas.
The match was played, as usual with China Red, at a fast and furious pace, but the students from Warwick University had to fight all the way before coming from behind to beat Trojans’ seconds 64-56, a win which they did not look like achieving as the game entered the final quarter.
It had been nail-biting all through, but Trojans had sneaked ahead to lead 44-39 and they looked to be in control as China Red floundered. But it all turned in two minutes as the home side’s shots began to drop and suddenly it was the visitors’ turn to panic as they now trailed 44-51. Egis Baliunas pulled them back with a strong inside game but their hosts went again and desperation crept into the Tile Hill play. But they made it four points down with three minutes left and it was game on once more, but that was where Warwick China Red found that the net was in receiving mode and they saw themselves home with a late flurry.
Baliunas hit 18 for Trojans as Nolan and Zhuang shared 30 for China Red who finally got their elusive first win.
JM Grizzles also went in search of their opening victory and almost pulled it off against Cracovia Stratford, before falling 56-58 to their local rivals. Grizzles coach Ian A’Kempis was most unhappy with his side’s second period performance which brought them just three points, and cost them the lead as Stratford took control to move six clear going into the final quarter. Grizzles hit hard to grab the initiative at 52-48 but missed free-shots and a burst of activity at the other end saw Stratford return home with the points.
Tamworth Tigers took their full squad to Tile Hill where Trojans 1 showed their class to thwart the offensive play of their visitors. Coming out of the trap like greyhounds to lead by ten after five minutes, Trojans stalled and were pegged back as Tigers made it 27-21 before their offense was shut out and the home side made a run which brought the interval scores to 40-23. Then it took Trojans almost seven minutes to notch their first points of the third quarter before normality returned to Hereward College and they regained control of the Tiger’s hoop to ease home 68-44.
Arden Griffins visited Leamington for the first time and showed Spartans why they are up there with the best at the top of the division. Griffins won 92-58 with a super show from their leading scorers. Paul Roberts landed another five three-pointers, taking him to over forty for the season and his 23 point haul was well supported by Sam Workman and Luke Hatfield who both grabbed 19, while Michael O’Neill had a good spell to land 12 for the league’s newest club.