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Canterbury recovers impressively to win three games at Super Series Two.

Canterbury Hellfire was left ruing what could have been, after a collapse at the start of the fourth quarter meant that Hellfire lost their first game. Hellfire were in control for most of the game leading by one or two points but consistently missed critical chances to extend their lead and finish the Bulls off. At the end of the third quarter the tie was poised at 31-32. A first substitution of the game, Seb Lhussier for Steve Brown was meant to be a fresh pair of hands to see out the win. However, the change seemed to completely change the dynamic of the team. They quickly lost possession three times in succession and could never recover. Canterbury slumped to a 37-43 loss.

Canterbury started well but was swept aside by a rampant Leicester Tigers in their home stadium, Leicester Arena. The Tigers were clinical against Hellfire scoring with ease and pouncing on poor mistakes by the Kent team. The Tigers team was impressive and it's clear why they are leading the division this season. The dynamic GB duo of Jamie Stead and Gavin Walker never looked flustered at all as they routinely carved through the Hellfire defence. Canterbury tried to hold on but they were fighting the inevitable. The Tigers continued their assault and Hellfire wilted in the second half loosing 63-38

For the final game a change needed to be made. Luke White and Sebastien Llhussier started for the first time in the final game against the Gaelic Warriors. And the combination's potential and threat was obvious as the two completely outplayed their opponents. The two provided fluidity, creativity and a danger that the opponents couldn't control.

Canterbury always knows how to make games exciting for their fans. They seemed to have the impetus all the time leading for most of the game. Yet they allowed the Warriors to stay close. They made it hard for themselves throwing the ball away. Like the Bulls game earlier they couldn't finish the game off. This time Hellfire showed some mental strength clinging on to a 53-50 win. The result gave the team an added swagger for the next day's games.

Canterbury fought through a nail biting finish to win 54-53 in their first game the next morning. Sharks defence regularly dropped below White allowing Llhussier to play them a merry tune. Llhussier kept delivering passes through the eye of needle. He made the Sharks defence irrelevant again and again. It was a complete team performance as the low pointers constantly provided a goal scoring threat, when needed. The GB coaching staff has noted their play. Both Harry Langley and David Barber have been called up to the GB Talent squad for training camps in the New Year. Harry Langley showed a massive engine as he was all over the court and was very efficient with the ball too. Barber was also clearly frustrating the Sharks with his industrious play. As revenge he was floored ferociously by ex GB star Aaron Phipps.

In a scene that was all too common this Super Series, Canterbury nearly threw away their lead against Solent Sharks, playing sloppily again. Canterbury always looked nervous when leading a close game, perhaps due to their inexperience. Up by one with less than a minute to go and a gaping goal in front of them, Langley and White somehow turned over the ball. If it wasn't for an interception by Brown in the following possession, the game could have been lost.

A tired Hellfire team faced the Gaelic Warriors again in the final game of the weekend. Having beaten the Warriors comfortably in the group stage, Hellfire thought this would be an easy game. However, the Irish team didn't get that memo as they came for a battle. They organised better defensively to keep out Luke White and played hard. During the fourth quarter, it was clear Hellfire were on their last reserves. Three of the four starters had played for nearly every minute during the weekend. And Luke White played every single minute of every single game. All players were labouring. A credit has to go to the fans as they helped the team break through their respective walls. Hellfire did everything to conserve energy. They tried to control the pace, slowing the game down at every opportunity, frustrating the Warriors into silly contact fouls. As the fourth quarter drew on, a nervous energy seemed to grow around the court. However, the coaches kept the players focused on the task. A relief washed over the team as the final buzzer sounded and fifth place was there's.

David Barber and Harry Langley rightly received the plaudits from fellow players as they won best in class awards. Canterbury's play all derives from their low pointers and a pattern is starting to emerge where they are not only outplaying other playing from their class but stronger faster high point players as well.

Survival isn't secured for the team but results of SS2 leave them sitting 6th with 7 points. Three points above the only relegation place. Destiny is completely in their hands going into the final weekend in February and they would've bitten your hand off for that scenario at the start of the season.

 

Date

Time

Opponent

Result

Competition

25/11/2017

9:00 AM

Darlington Mowden Park Bulls

37-43 L

SS2

25/11/2017

12:30 PM

Leicester Tigers

38-63 L

SS2

25/11/2017

4:00 PM

Gaelic Warriors

53-50 W

SS2

26/11/2017

9:00 AM

Solent Sharks

54-52 W

SS2

26-Nov

12:30 PM

Gaelic Warriors

53-49 W

SS2

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# Team Pld Pts
1 Cinderford 30 143
2 Chinnor 30 131
3 Redingensians 30 112
4 Taunton Titans 30 101
5 Redruth 30 89
6 Tonbridge Juddians 30 86
7 Worthing 30 81
8 Bury St Edmunds 30 77
9 Henley 30 73
10 Canterbury 30 72
11 Clifton 30 63
12 Old Redcliffians 30 58
13 London Irish Wild Geese 30 57
14 Barnstaple 30 55
15 Wimbledon 30 50
16 Broadstreet 30 35