Bury St Edmunds Bulldogs 115 - Hemel Storm II 108 (Triple Overtime)
Hemel Storm II, sponsored by Certa Group Ltd, lost out in their first away game of the season in a nail-biting encounter to Bury St Edmunds.
Injury and illness had limited Hemel to just seven available players and this was ultimately to prove to be their undoing.
The home team took advantage of a sluggish start by Hemel as they opened up an early 12-4 lead. Hemel’s plight wasn’t helped by the withdrawal of influential point guard Nick Allin following two early fouls. But some tenacious team defence stemmed the Bulldogs’ early onslaught and Storm clawed back the deficit to tie the first quarter at 18-18.
Allin returned to the fray in the second quarter and promptly racked up 18 points. Hemel’s imposing 7’3” centre, Ollie Dykes, contributed 8 rebounds and 6 points of his own in the quarter to give Hemel a 47-41 lead at half time.
The tables were turned once more at the start of the third period as the home team went on a 15-3 run. This was a taste of what was to come as the lead changed multiple times before the conclusion of the game.
Storm’s chances of victory were dealt a serious blow in the final quarter as Ollie Dykes crashed to the floor with a knee sprain following a collision with an opponent. Dykes limped to the sideline and was unable to continue. However, Hemel continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over with some important scores from guards Atif Kahn and Daryl Craine. And it was Craine who converted the final breakaway score of the fourth quarter to tie the scores at 86-86.
Three minutes into overtime Hemel suffered another setback. A strong drive to the basket from the home team resulted in a collision with three Storm defenders. A mystified Nick Allin was adjudged to have committed his fifth foul and was required to leave the court. With seconds left in overtime the Bulldogs trailed by one point but tied the game with a free throw to send the game into a second period of overtime.
With both teams sapped of energy, errors were plentiful and points scarce. Atif Kahn was another Hemel recipient of an unfortunate fifth foul leaving only four players on court for the visitors. Somehow, Storm clung onto a narrow lead only for the Bulldogs to tie the game again with another free throw.
Hemel’s resolve finally ran out in the third period of overtime as the advantage of the extra player finally secured the victory for the home team.
Coach Allin said: “Our effort today was outstanding. We had a lot of things go against us today but we had chances to win the game. We shot very poorly from the free throw line which cost us.”
Nick Allin 39, Ollie Dykes 18, Daryl Craine 16, Atif Kahn 15, Shaun Allin 11, Dominic Charles 6, Ben Pearce 3
Storm II travel to County Upper Wolves this Saturday (9th November).