Cavs in town as Storm looks to bounce back!

29/02/2024

Local rivals Thames Valley Cavaliers are the visitors to the StormDome on Saturday evening, as Storm look to return to winning ways following a frustrating home loss to Bradford Dragons. There have been many tantalising tussles over the years between the fiercely competitive outfits, so this one is sure not to disappoint. 

To build your appetite for this huge clash, let’s turn back time to some previous crunch Storm vs TVC  matchups…

Cup madness! 

In the 2017/18 season, a Robert Youngblood-led Hemel Storm made their first trip to the now notorious Uxbridge College. On the rise Division 2 Thames Valley Cavaliers were the hosts for the National Cup Quarter Final. Storm knew not what to expect, but saw what was to come from TVC instantly, battling hard to the final buzzer. A scrappy, back and forth tie unfolded and Storm failed to break away, taking the game down the stretch even. The visitors cup run looked to be over as they trailed moving into the final possession of the game; step-up David Ajumobi. Firing home a ridiculous turn-around banked shot, he silenced the locals and sent the Storm fans into ruptures! They marched on and in a competition they went on to win, this was the first of many memorable showdowns! 

Playoff joy! 

Storm again visited Uxbridge, this time in the 2021/22 season Playoff Semi Final. Off the back of a surprise quarter-final win at the hands of Derby Trailblazers thanks to a Bode Adeluola buzzer beater, 6th placed Storm were looking for another shock to take them back to Manchester for a second year running. Tensions were high and Thames Valley started the stronger, racing out to a 10-point lead. Dru Spinks’ side, however, pulled it back and led by seven after three quarters of high quality action. In a raucous atmosphere, it was the Storm contigent’s voices that came through and an electric away atmosphere helped pull their side over the line. Another titanic, competitive battle between these two monstrous sides and the rivalry was now well formed. An iconic victory photo with the incredible away turnout, and it was Storm who were off to Manchester to meet the Kestrels in the final.  

Unbeaten still…just! 

Back to last year now, and Storm were 27 games into a historic season, when the tough task of Thames Valley away was again presented. Well into the second half of the campaign at this point and Storm had visions of an unprecedented unbeaten year, which TVC and a certain Bode Adeluola were determined to stop. Thames Valley grasped the early initiative as Storm started uncharacteristically slow, struggling to adapt to the street-like basketball their hosts were putting on them. Edgy, apprehensive fans and players now began to feel worried, as it was not only the intense underfloor heating building up a strong sweat on their brows. Thames Valley and Adeluola were inspired, showing Storm little signs of throwing it away. As we became accustomed to seeing though, it was Aaryn Rai who took things into his own hands. Masterminding a dramatic comeback to claim a four-point win, the visitors escaped from Uxbridge victorious, knowing they had perhaps got away with one! 

If history is anything to go by, you won’t want to miss this one! Thames Valley come to the Dome in ninth place, looking to push into the Playoff positions, while Storm hope to close in on the top two. Off the back of a sloppy display against the Dragons last week, the home side are pleased to welcome back Hakeem Sylla and will hope to lay down a statement of intent, proving last week’s loss was a mere blip. 

The form books tend to head out the window, though, when coach Robert Banks brings his side to town. It looks sure to be a tight one, so get your tickets booked before they’re all gone as we expect another StormDome sell-out! 

We also welcome back former stars Bode Adeluola and Shaq Lewis, so for a chance to catch some thrilling basketball grab your tickets via www.stormbasketball.net

Written by Callum Humphrey

Copyright Hemel Storm Basketball