NBL Men vs Sheffield Hallam Sharks
|18/11/2017||6:00 pm||NBL Division 3 North||2017/18|
|Chester MBB NBL||84||Win|
|Sheffield Hallam Sharks||75||Loss|
Chester MBB NBL
|10||Ebehireme Dave Omole||10||0||8||8||12||67%||0||0||0%||8||0.0||57%||0||0||0%||16||0||0|
Sheffield Hallam Sharks
University of Chester vs Sheffield Hallam Sharks
Basketball England Division 3 Mens
18th November 2017
Chester returned to their home court on Saturday evening following a tumultuous few weeks which included defeats to Wolverhampton Albion and Myerscough College. The schedule was, once again, not kind to the home side, facing the high flying Sharks who had recorded a string of impressive victories including a 12 point win over the previous week conquerors of Chester, Myerscough.
UoC were able to welcome back some more players for this game, Niel Gillard had another weeks full training under his belt after his cameo the week prior and Rich McNutt and James Strong were available once more as Chester looked to turn around their recent poor form.
Coach Wilson stuck with a familiar starting 5 with Danny Walsh, Dave Omole, Dave Thomas, Phil Brandreth and the aforementioned McNutt beginning the game. It became evident from the off how the visitors had fared so well against Myerscough as they were a physically dominant, quick team led by the impressive Jacob Cauthorn. This week, however, the hosts were much better prepared to deal with the onslaught and began the game quickly themselves, Omole and Brandreth in particular continuing their strong starts to the season.
McNutt found himself with 2 fouls early on as he tried to deal with the tricky Cauthorn so Strong was introduced for his first action for a few weeks. Chester’s rhythm wasn’t disrupted especially as Walsh was now able to get significant breaks with Gillard fresh from the bench to run the point for Chester. The UoC coaching staff were left to rue several missed opportunities as the first quarter drew to a close with a number of missed layups allowing the Sharks to tie the score at 19 as the players came back to the benches.
The 2nd quarter began in similar fashion, both teams went on mini runs before being pulled back, the most significant saw Chester up by as much as 9 before being pegged back. Phil Brandreth showed the form that saw him crowned as D3 MVP last year with some fantastic shooting in the first half, he single handedly forced the visitors to alter their defence with some excellent work from beyond the arc. Another facet of Brandreth’s game came to the fore as the game wound down to the half, the visitors had cut the lead and the atmosphere had ramped up after a dunk and some fancy handles from the Sharks, this was gone in a flash as, on back to back possessions, Chester’s number 6 gambled on midcourt passes and nipped in to get the steal and put in layups to kill any moment Sheffield had built up. The game was still close as the hosts lead 44-40 at the half.
It was clear, at the start of the second quarter, that the Sharks coach had asked for much more on defence from his charges. Chester struggled for the first 5 minutes or so with the Yorkshiremen actually taking the lead for a spell as UoC’s offense stuttered in the face of the improved d. McNutt was again in foul trouble, picking up his 3rd early on in this quarter and was again resigned to the bench for a spell. This forced Chester to go “small ball” for a spell with Tim Piayda coming in leaving the two Dave’s, Omole and Thomas, to play inside against the Shark’s big men.
This actually triggered a better spell for Chester as they pulled themselves back into the game. From trailing by 4, they shut out Sheffield for the last couple of minutes for the quarter and were able to regain the lead 62-59 at the end of the third period.
Going into the fourth, traditionally Chester territory, Coaches Wilson and Halsall knew the importance of securing the win after the previous few weeks and impressed this upon the team. Gillard came in for his longest stretch of the game and rediscovered some of the old magic to help close out the game. Taking advantage of mismatches on defence, Gillard was able to consistently get to the hoop, either dishing to teammates or scoring himself as the home side began to pull away. Dave Thomas again played a full 40 minutes and was exceptional at multiple positions on the floor, also adding 6 points to the total, he’ll be missed for two games as he flies off to Vietnam for a well earned break.
As time began to tick away the focus on Brandreth paid dividends for the other players on the floor, Gillard in particular, who hit a dagger 3 with around 90 seconds on the clock. Sharks were reduced to fouling now to try and get the ball back. Eddie Brownell tried manfully at the other end of the floor, scoring 14 points but unable to hit the required three’s. Gillard was eventually able to let time run out on a hard earned 84-75 victory which leaves both teams with a 4-3 record in a very tight Division 3 North.
Brandreth top scored for the hosts with an impressive 35 points, nearly matched by young Jacob Cauthorn who poured in 27 for the visitors. Next up for Chester is a home game against the dangerous Manchester Giants II whose record isn’t great but on closer inspection shows that they’re in every game they play and cannot be taken lightly.
That game is currently scheduled for Sunday 26th November 17:00 at the Downes Building Sports Hall.