WARWICKSHIRE Bears were given a taste of what it takes to challenge British League leaders TCAT Warriors after losing to their rivals 52-76 in a re-arranged friendly match on Valentine’s Days.
The Bears had been scheduled to play Maidstone Rebels but the match was postponed by the visitors because they had too many injuries and instead Tom Masterson’s side were given a sharp lesson if they were hoping to gain promotion.
A bright opening quarter saw the Bears lead by one point but the second quarter proved to be the turning point as the visitors stepped into a higher gear.
They forced more pressure onto the Bears and capitalised on individual errors.
The Warriors went into the half-way point with a 22-37 lead and although the hosts try to force a comeback,it was the visitors who were able to maintain their intensity and slightly improve their lead at the end of the final quarter.
“It was a great opportunity for us to play the top team in the first division and see the level we need to build to,” said Masterson.
“Although I’m always disappointed in losing I was really happy that the team didn’t gave up until the final buzzer. Warriors are a class team and I am really grateful they were willing to play us even at last minute notice.”
The second team were also in action over the weekend and celebrated a narrow 57-52 victory over Cardiff Celts in the Third Division Central.
After being boosted by the return of Neil Bunting and Rick Powell, the match proved to be a close affair with the visitors holding a narrow six point lead at half-time.
In the second half the Bears slowly clawed their way back into the match and by the final buzzer both sides were level.
And the extra-time period took its toll on the visiting team, who were only able to field five players and Bears took full advantage by taking the win by five points.
“It was nice to get a win but these close games are killing me,” joked Masterson. “This is the second game we have gone into overtime, but were fortunate to come out winners this time.”
Bears are back on the road again this Sunday when they face local rivals CWBA.
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