Bury Blue Devils 19 - 48 Lothian Phoenix
02 Sept 2006

Reporter : Martin Dougan

Well…the Lothian team finally got their first long awaited season underway on Saturday against the Bury Blue Devils.

Two minutes before tip-off you could really feel both a tense and anxious feeling surround the court which undoubtedly was coming from the Lothian bench. After all it was now time for this new team to put theory into practice and to keep themselves positive so that they could get that promising start the fledgling Phoenix players all wanted to ignite their inaugural season in the GBWBA Third Division North.

In the first quarter both teams got off to a slow start and within a couple of minutes Lothian found themselves on the back foot with Bury’s number 23 breaking the dead lock to put his team 2-0 up. However, Michael Jordan analogies aside, it didn’t take the visitors long to get rid of those pre match nerves, answering back with a run of thirteen straight points before letting the home side deliver their second basket. In this quarter Lothian seemed to be using zoned defence which Bury found difficult to breakdown. The quarter finished 15-4 in favour of Lothian.

The game seemed to be becoming a bit one sided with Lothian only conceding one basket the whole quarter and troubling their hosts by adding another twelve points to their score. The half time buzzer sounded and the new comers looked comfortable with a 27-5 lead.

Just before the second half was due to start I looked over at the Lothian bench and saw that Stevie Duff seemed happy with his team’s progress so far but never at any point did he look as though he wanted to stop there signalling clear instructions to his team for the second half.

In the third quarter Lothian changed to a half court pressure defence which resulted in the league rookies conceding ten to their rivals but Lothian still finished on top with twelve in the third.

There wasn’t a lot of action in the fourth with both teams only managing six baskets between them.

The game ended 48-19 to Lothian.

So it seems that the Lothian got off to a good start. Player/Coach Stevie Duff managed an impressive fourteen points for the contest, but it was the overall team performance that left the assembled scouting parties from the rest of the division with the quandary of how to stop the impressive newcomers.

Stevie Duff commented post match, “ This was a great start to this new club’s first season in the GBWBA Third Division North. To start the campaign with a win is absolutely fantastic. Tomorrow in Bolton will be a tough test for us. The Bolton team played in the second division last year and will be formidable opponents. It might be that our toughest test of the season has come a little too early for us, but based on today’s performance, I am sure we will be able to put up a good show. The spirit demonstrated by the players today was top drawer. They did exactly what was asked of them and exceeded my expectations going into our first game. Based on this performance, the Phoenix future looks bright. I’m very proud of the team.”


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