Worthing Thunder storm to win over Team Newcastle

Worthing Thunder recorded a 108-103 victory over Team Newcastle on Saturday.

Tom Ward starred for Worthing Thunder in their narrow win over Team Newcastle. Picture by Kyle Hemsley Photography
Tom Ward starred for Worthing Thunder in their narrow win over Team Newcastle. Picture by Kyle Hemsley Photography

The first quarter started well for Thunder. They quickly took the initiative and led 7-0 after just a couple of minutes.

With two minutes of the quarter remaining Thunder led by 21-9 but some inspired shooting by the visitors pulled the game back to 21 apiece. But a last second trey for Thunder retook the lead on the buzzer.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

Without the injured Howard Crawford and Jack Sunderland, who went off in the first minute with a nasty injury, it was down to Hafeez Abdul and Zaire Taylor to hold Thunder's defence together.

With the scoring spread evenly throughout the team, the three point lead was a bonus.

The second period was fast and furious with the lead changing at regular intervals. Thunder were scoring regularly but the visitors were not giving in.

At the half-time break it was Taylor, Abdul and Lucien Christofis who were doing most of the scoring as Thunder held a 51-49 lead.

The industrious Tom Ward was having another great game, collecting 10 rebounds by the break in what was becoming another match winning performance.

The third stanza was a very productive one for the Thunder, who lead 82-74. But with just three minutes remaining in the period it didn't look so promising, as the lead changed a further six times.

Three more treys by Christofies, a big third quarter by Jarred Dixon and a competent 10 minutes from Ishmael Fontaine helped Thunder exert their pressure.

The final quarter saw Thunder under big pressure from Newcastle and, as the period moved on, there was only a point or two between them.

Some fine shooting from the visitor's Brandon Federeci and a big period from the league's leading scorer Ronald Blain kept the scores close.

With just three minutes remaining the game was tied but then big scores from Taylor, Abdul, Dixon and Ward saw Thunder ease into the lead as the final buzzer loomed.

The final score of 108-103 was a fair result as both teams had given their all.

Thunder are away for the next two weekends - this Saturday at Thames Valley Cavaliers and the the following weekend at Loughborough Riders (December 4) and Team Newcastle (December 5).

Thunder return to the Thunderdome on Saturday, December 11 when they entertain Nottingham Hoods.