Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Lions win championship cup!

NWBA Championship Cup Finals
Hope Lions 81 - Colwyn Bay Bulls 50


Having lost to the Bulls in our last two encounters, the most recent of which was by around 20 points only a few days before, this was going to be a tough one for the finals, but in our last game of the season we produced our best performance of the season.

Despite the nerves of the finals, everyone played relaxed and worked hard on defence. Our forward Titch was good as ever, Aziz Ibrahim lit up the scoreboard to get us a good lead, Max Gore was deadly from three point range (picking up the MVP award) and Rob Clarke was taking no prisoners on the inside!

Playing a Box-and-One defence meant I spent a happy 40 minutes keeping their main scorer off the ball or stopping him from shooting. It's more fun than it sounds and I he only managed to score two baskets past me during the game so it did the job.

Even though we ended the game so far in front, the little voice in the back of my head kept telling me we weren't so far ahead that they couldn't sweep back through if we fell apart. It's such a relief! Not just to win, but to play like we knew we should have been all season long... and the best bit is that the people playing for us on the day, should be the people who are playing for us next season, with one or two welcome additions.

It was one of those really nice days!... the sun was shining, we won the game, my mates came along to watch, we chilled out it in the afternoon, then went out for a meal and the cinema in the evening... and it was my birthday... it doesn't get much better than that! :)

My friends managed to get some video of the game, so big thanks to them for that and I'll see you all next season.

Friday, 2 May 2008

One last chance

“If we have not achieved our early dreams, we must either find new ones or see what we can salvage from the old." Rosalynn Carter

We've been thrown a lifeline. While we have won just a handful of league games this season, we managed to win our cup matches, with one last win in the final-four over the Magic, sending us through to the NWBA Championship Cup Finals against the Colwyn Bay Bulls.

The Oswestry players on the Lions team, from left, Aziz Ibrahim, Max Gore, Rob
Clarke and David Lawson. Photo by Huw Davies, Border Counties Advertizer.

It was a hugely exciting semi-final and not one I think many of us expected to win. Aziz Ibrahim put in some great jump shooting and Max Gore was on target from three point range, while point guard Sam and forward Titch were going great guns as we pulled within three points in the last few minutes and went ahead with just a few seconds on the clock to win.

Since then, in a strange twist, our last league game of the season saw us playing the Colwyn Bay Bulls, the very same team we wil be facing in the finals of the cup... it didn't go to plan. We were behind early on, drew level and went in front at the half, then went behind again towards the end to lose by 16.

If I'm honest, I'm delighted we've salvaged at least a finals place from this mess of a season, but just think, if we can just hold together one more good performance, it could go from the worst of seasons to one of the best, just like that!

The final is on May 11 in Deeside, so we don't have to wait!