SCOTTISH WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE MATCH REPORT; DUNDEE DRAGONS 58 : 31 ST MIRREN WARRIORS. 7-4-2018

DUNDEE DRAGONS v ST MIRREN WARRIORS

WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL SCOTTISH DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE

DUNDEE AND ANGUS COLLEGE GARDYNE CAMPUS

 SATURDAY 7 APRIL 2018 11AM TIP

Match Report by Kevin Rattray, DDWSC Vice-Chairman

vs st mirren warriors

Dragons welcomed St Mirren Warriors to Dundee for a decisive fixture in the Scottish Development League which followed very quickly after our double victory over Lothian Phoenix.

The club had made little fuss over the fixture but everyone on the sidelines knew that a victory would secure top spot in the development league.

The squad was changed for this match, I seem to say that a lot, with Ben Leitch returning after his time at the GB Under 23 Training Camp, as well as Mairi Simms returning from holiday, but unfortunately we were shorn of the services of Michael Mellon off to Invictus Games Trials, Ronny Robb off to Paris with Scotland Wheelchair 7’s to play France, Murran MacKay training hard for the London Marathon Festival and Stephen Carling still working out of town.

The squad assembled for the match with the exciting addition, under the clubs latest “non-youth” strategy of including Ian Hall and Kevin Rattray alongside Mairi Simms on the bench, no need to do the maths the average age was clearly close to 60.

Gemma’s comprehensive warm up, ok we’ll start in 10 minutes, 10 minutes later, maybe give them another 5 minutes, 5 minutes later, ok definitely we’ll do it in 5 minutes.

Was still a really good warm up and thanks due to Shayne McVicar for his help to get people moving.

The match started right on time with Gary Godsell, in glorious orange, that’s a lot of alliteration, alongside Owen Allan with both ably supported by table officials Sally Lumsdaine and Owen Leitch.

Dragons starting five consisted of Gemma Lumsdaine as guard working with Blair Marshall, Rhys Colliar working with Ben Leitch and David Birtles at point and the 3 reserves previously noted raring to get involved, well at least 2 of them were.

Dragons jumped into an early lead through Ben Leitch quickly finding space in tandem with Rhys Colliar and slotting multiple baskets before Warriors began to show with several baskets of their own and were working so hard to upset the rhythm the Dragons were trying to establish.

The first half settled into a steady stream of Dragons baskets from Ben, Blair and David with Warriors slotting several baskets of their own ensuring that there would be no complacency from the home team.

The first half drew to a close with Mairi replacing Gemma for the final couple of minutes and the score finishing at  Dundee Dragons 30 St Mirren Warriors 8.

The start of the second half saw Gemma’s brave experimentation kicking in as Ben was replaced by Ian Hall, making his debut.

St Mirren’s change was almost palpable as they switched to a full court press which the Dragons really struggled to break and the scoreboard started to tick in the favour of the visitors throughout the third quarter, with Dragons living off of a few scraps of possession.

With David close to being fouled out changes were made late in the quarter to steady the ship with Ben back in play.

The final quarter started with Warriors now only 15 down but with Dragons starting 5 back in play they started to find their shape and shooting skills with Ben and Blair to the fore, David adding to the score and the biggest cheer of the day reserved for another basket from Rhys this season, the work he and Gemma do is very often unnoticed but I’m sure Ben and Blair will tell you they couldn’t do what they do without the work of their 2 guards.

Dragons were now in control of the scoring, and even though the Warriors press was still effective it was now being broken much more consistently.

The Dragons surged towards the end of the match with Ben’s 3 pointer attempt slightly closer than Michael’s previous efforts but still without success and the final buzzer sounded with the score

Dundee Dragons 58 St Mirren Warriors 31

We concluded with food, drinks and general banter and many of the women who were in attendance stayed on for Jen Scally’s Women Warriors session.

Next match is our final home match of the season against Grampian Flyers on Saturday 28th April, be great to have as good a support as we saw yesterday.

Apologies for locking spectators out before the match but hope everyone enjoyed the result.

Thanks due at the end of the day for Garry and Owen who’s refereeing meant we all learnt something, and to Sally Lumsdaine and Owen Leitch for timekeeping, scoring etc.

Paula and David Leitch for helping with food, drinks, setting up, dismantling equipment and generally being fantastic Dundee Dragons.

Would like to give special mention to Gemma who has lead the senior basketball team on this fantastic league run and deserves all the credit she receives.

I will reflect on the season once we have finished all of the league fixtures and play offs and produce a full season report, and as a message for Tina let’s get next season organised!

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