Match Report by Kevin Rattray, DDWSC Vice-Chairman



Dragons welcomed Phoenix to Gardyne following a few weeks since our last match. The weekend was to feature 2 matches and this, the first of them, was our home match of the of the Scottish Development League.

The second, which followed right after this one was Phoenix as the home team, probably a little strange for them but we like to think Dundee is a home from home.

The squad was changed for this match with Murran collecting her racing chair and Stephen Carling still unavailable as he’s working in Glasgow.

Dragons welcomed back Ben Leitch after his GB Under 23 Training Camp.

Dragons ran straight from their club session of Tennis, Badminton and Basketball, with many of the players helping out with every activity before Gemma settled everyone.

What followed was Gemma’s comprehensive warm up which is stuff of legend, and as we’ve got to know with Gemma, it was time for a bit of experimentation, but more of that later.

With referees Tina Gordon and Kenny Sanford in place Michael went in for the tip and the match was on.

Dragons started with a very strong five of Michael Mellon, Ben Leitch, Gemma Lumsdaine, Rhys Colliar and David Birtles with Ronny Robb, Blair Marshall and Mairi Simms on the subs bench.

Dragons started very quickly and were immediately in charge of the scoring, Ben was to the fore with player /coach Gemma creating space for him seemingly at will.

Gemma’s experiment became clear very quickly a 3-2 press, occasionally a full court press and also occasionally a “ what are we doing now” press.

The carnage which ensued was entertaining to watch often brilliantly executed but occasionally had players seemingly spinning round and round in a kaleidoscope of blank expressions and Ben imploring “no not him, her”

The match flew to half time with Dragons in control of the scoreboard with David and Michael also getting in on the scoring

Half time score Dragons 30 Lothian Phoenix 14

The second half saw the introduction of Blair, Ronny and Mairi into the action, with Gemma and Ben now taking up the sideline coaching positions.

Dragons continued to push forward with Michael, Ronny and David sharing the scoring and then Blair chipping in with 2 excellent baskets and Ben finishing the scoring.

This was not a routine victory for Dragons as Phoenix, very ably lead by Colette Martin, were a constant threat and in reality deserved to be closer than the score reflected.

The match finished with Ben running the last 14 seconds down and Dragons coming out victorious with a final score of

Dundee Dragons 44 Lothian Phoenix 29

Half time in the day’s proceedings saw the consumption of food and drinks including the story of David Leitch and the missing Curly Wurly’s, I’m pretty sure there were 4.

A thirty-minute break and we were back into the game this time with Phoenix as the home team.



Dragons changed their starting five for the start of the match with Ronny, Ben, Blair, Michael and Gemma on court and Rhys, Mairi and David taking up the sub positions.

It was clear from the outset that this next match was going to be a very different proposition with Phoenix coming at Dragons with a much greater intensity and showing excellent commitment to nullify Dragons press and create space for their forwards to get the scoreboard ticking in their favour.

Phoenix jumped into a quick lead and sustained this most of the first half of the match.

Dragons were clearly rattled and both Ben and Michael were struggling to find their range, I’m going to put it down to them relaxing during the break can’t be anything to do with the half time food….can it?

The first half came to an abrupt and confused end for Dragons as they stumbled to a very small lead

Lothian Phoenix 13 Dundee Dragons 14

A couple of changes from Gemma some motivational chat from Ben and Michael and we were off into the second half knowing that only an increase in our intensity, and improvements to communication would enable us to force out the win.

Fortunately for us this is exactly what happened Gemma’s master strokes in selection and the scoreboard started ticking in our favour.

Michael and Ben now found their shooting skills again and the team started to move away from a very committed Phoenix team who never gave up, constantly tested the dragons defence, broke the press sometimes just for fun and displayed some fantastic skills throughout the match.

Scoring was concluded with Ronny, Ben, Michael and special mention to Blair who chipped in with 3 baskets of his own, yes Blair your mum was watching and did see them going in!

The match finished

Lothian Phoenix 25 Dundee Dragons 48

I don’t think this was a true reflection of the match as the first 20 minutes really had Phoenix in command and Dragons hanging on.

As soon as Dragons found their shooting form in the second half there would only be one winner

Thanks due at the end of the day for Tina Gordon and Kenny Sanford who brought such a great light touch to every match enabling everyone to play to the best of their ability.

Special mention to Paula Leitch for side-line management, tea and coffee making, being Ben and Owen’s mum and Paula, I’m sure we’ll both figure out what is going on when that whistle blows!

Another fantastic job done by Sally Lumsdaine and Ryan Mellon with timekeeping, scoring etc.

We have two more matches left both at home with the first one scheduled for Saturday 7 April with an 11 am tip off against the very dangerous St Mirren Warriors and the final one on Saturday 28th April against Grampian Flyers with a 1pm tip off.

What a season that will have been with only the play off finals to complete.

Be great to have a good support at the next 2 matches it’s really appreciated by all of the players and officials.

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