Thunder’s first home game of the 2020-21 season finally arrived last Saturday and it couldn’t have been a tougher match-up as the Kestrels were the opposition at the Durrington High School court.
The school is now the temporary home of Thunder after pandemic restirctions meant they had to vacate Worthing Leisure Centre, and an enormous amount of work by Thunder’s band of volunteers had ensured the fixture could go ahead under government guidelines and big thanks went out to them.
The first period of play was terrific end to end stuff with Thunder fast into the action.
Two treys saw Thunder into a 6-0 lead and hopes of a shock were raised.
Solent, however, had other ideas and began to up the tempo as the period progressed.
Thunder stayed with them and matched the scoring – Tom Ward and Howard Crawford worked hard but as the quarter finished it was the visitors who had pulled into a 32-23 lead.
Thunder her some tough times ahead as Solent showed why they are considered the best side in the NBL as they repeatedly drove at the defence.
At the halfway stage Solent had increased their lead to 21 points (57-36 ) and after a torrid third period it had grown to a massive 29 points (76-47).
The final ten minutes was more end to end but by now the result was never in doubt as the Thunder were outgunned by the visitors.
The final score of 107-57 was a harsh one but Thunder will have learned a lot from this match-up.
For Thunder, Ward was outstanding throughout with Max Richardson improving as the game progressed.
Cameron Hildreth had another tough game and this was another occasion where it showed the visitors had ‘done their homework’ on him’.
Thunder are back at the Durrington High School court on Saturday when the other unbeaten side in the league, Thames Valley Cavaliers, are the visitors. So things don’t get any easier in the fixture list.
Thunder scorers- Tom Ward 12, Howard Crawford 11+5 rebounds, Max Richardson 9 + 10 rebounds + 2 steals + 3 blocks, Cameron Hildreth 8 +7 rebounds, Dominic Ives 7, Ish Fontaine 5 + 4 rebounds, Nick Ballone 3, Josh Goddard 2.