Former All-star Guntars Trabliks rolled back the years as Division Two leaders Rugby Rage, despite fielding an under-strength team, managed to grab all three points against Westwood Rhinos.
Rage were without three starters and their coach but began with aplomb at The XCEL Centre, racing into a 17-8 lead as their hosts floundered, and they had increased this to 34-18 when Rhinos finally managed to get their act together, reducing the deficit to ten just inside the second half. Trabliks and company stemmed the flow, but Rhinos, with Mike Kearsley in fine form came back again to within five this time at 44-39 before the pair hit stalemate as they countered each other. Holding onto their lead Rage kept their cool but Rhinos kept pegging away as the final minute arrived, then the buzzer halted their charge as they went down 69-61 with Trabliks making 32 for Rage and Kearsley 26 for Rhinos.
The other game in the second division saw Tile Hill Trojans 3 chalk up a rare win and it was second-placed Team Rebels on the receiving end as veteran Trevor Robinson landed 32 points in his side’s 69-50 success.
Trojans first team marched on at the top of Division One and, despite being short of players and their usual high standards, they overcame Ernesford Eagles 72-42 in a match which lacked sparkle, particularly in the second quarter which Eagles won. It was Trojans’ second-half performance which saw them home as they powered from 39-30 to 70-37 with Austin Dickson and Scott Owen dropping in seven three-pointers between them as they supported the game’s top scorer Ash Dickson who made 23.
Arden Griffins experienced few problems as they kept up the pressure at the top with a 93-51 win over JM Grizzlies. Griffins hurtled to 34-16 in a free-flowing fixture at St Peter’s School, and brushed aside their visitors challenge as they coasted home, led by Sam Workman on 25 and Luke Hatfield who made 23.
It was a similar story at Coventry College where leading scorer Vaidas Cerkunovas was back in form with 42 points in College’s 98-54 win over Coventry Tornadoes. Tamworth Tigers had to work for their victory though, as Trojans 2 held them at bay for three of the four periods. It was then that coach Darren Mortiboy brought his star player back from the bench and left it to Lukasz Bolda to run riot in the final quarter. This saw Tigers home 73-58 and Bolda finished with 31 points as Ben Linnett countered for Trojans with four triples in his 16.
Aylesford Hawks found dual match-winners in the form of Matt Glover (30 points) and Ricky Fennell (29) as they took maximum points from Cracovia Stratford, despite another fine 28 points coming from Stratford’s Jamie Summers. Hawks shot into a 30-10 lead and never looked back as they eased to an 88-69 win. Warwick China Red made it two from two as they added the scalp of Leamington Spartans to their tally with a 62-45 success at Newbold Comyn. It was once again the opening quarter which proved Spartans’ undoing as China red went fourteen up and were never caught.