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News Report

South Wales Policed robbed by the Steelers

Author: Karl Abraham, 02/10/17

Wyn MVP 1.10.17

Llanelli Steelers @ South Wales Police, Bridgend - 1/10/17 Match Report

Starting 5

Arun Rai [1], Adam Raprager [2] Max Gishkelyuk [3], Wyn Espie [4], Frank Lynch/ Coach [5]

Nia Espie, Josh Thacker, Adam Dawson-Wythes, John Cascano, Karl Abraham/ Assistant Coach

South Wales Police returned to the SWBA league after several year absence and Coach Lynch team talk was centred around this fact that whilst the team is heavily experienced, lacked in pace and would be rusty from not playing in the league in recent years. This couldn’t be further away from the truth! SWP started the game with a swift 3 and back to back point before Llanelli registered their first bucket in open play by player-coach Frank Lynch whom went on to score back to back buckets along with Wyn being sent to the free-throw line, the reward for his threat in and around the key ensuring the Steelers kept close to SWP come the end of the 1st Quarter. Fearing the worse and to add more presence under both set of baskets, Karl (Abraham) whom returned from a brief stint at Swansea Storm, made his second debut for Llanelli, 21 years after making his first and Adam (Dawson-Wythes) making his debut too saw out the 1st Quarter, 11-20. 

If the first quarter was anything to go by, the Steelers were in for tough 2nd quarter. With Frank highlighting weaknesses under the defensive basket, rattled and energised the team with some self-believe, kept the 5 players on that ended the 1st quarter (Arun [1], Max [2], Adam DW [3] and Karl [4], Frank [5]). Llanelli did exactly what Frank asked of them, came out all guns firing! With Adam DW registering his first points with an “And-One”! Adam continued to be rob SWP under the basket whilst going to the free-throw line for the second time and unable to make the baskets stick. Karl and Frank being on the court the same time, resulted in some tough-D with several block and a succession of baskets from Arun, whom forced himself into the including a 3-pointer. With many legs now tiring, Nia and Josh came on to keep pressure at the top of the key and stop and intercept the ball. Their presence on the court certainly felt as SWP couldn’t force their way through the first line of defence. As the end of the 2nd quarter/ 1st half approached the Steelers found themselves equal to the game afoot – 27-27

Historically, Llanelli struggle in a 3rd quarter and this game would not differ to the contrary! The Steelers starting 5 returned to the court and within minutes of starting saw Llanelli being 7 points down without with only Arun’s second 3-pointer for the Steelers bench to cheer. A Time-Out was take after the second wave of baskets fell for the home side. With spaces appearing towards the end of the 3rd quarter, in the SWP defence and Adam DW taking advance after being fouled and Adam R. eventually found the net from outside the 3-point line quickly stopped the rot and the whistle for the end of the 3rd quarter, 36-42

Ending the 3rd quarter on a higher was pivotal in the team talk ahead of the 4th quarter. Llanelli knew it would be a hard task as SWP certainly policed the 3rd quarter, but momentum was definitely with the Steelers and this time the succession of baskets came from Josh from his relentless pressing on defence stopped SWP getting the ball into the key. Max too was able to add to the flurry of baskets and by the mid-way point of the 4th quarter Llanelli were 4 points from SWP (42-46). The game was now open and even and Llanelli turning from bad-cop to good cop, felt the game was there to be won and with a minute left on the clock and some great passes exchanged Max fired up a 3-point to tie the game 49-49 all. A nervous Llanelli fought hard and battled in keeping the score even with less than a minute to go, enough for 1 basket. With John finding himself under the net following a shot from Adam R. and took down a rounding with all eyes and cheers with John, he put up a strong shot off the backboard only to be hampered by the SWP and a call given by the referees. SWP took a time out, there was still time on clock (6 seconds) enough for them to counter. John put up the first shot and missed. Taking his time, took the second shot… it circled the net and rolled out with Wyn collecting the re-bound and unable to put back up a shot. The game ended 49-49 all and was about to enter overtime.

With the additional team talk and praise to all players in being involved to take it to overtime but with belief that this game could by the Steelers for the taking. A rejuvenated Arun breakdown was able to capitalise on a rare breakdown in play at the beginning of OT. Both teams nervous not to make a mistake or over play the ball with some competitive defence on both side of the court. With a rare foul going against Frank, saw SWP take both free-throws and again draw the game (51-51). Then straight after the inbound, and a passage of play and good moved and passing Wyn was able to put up for 2 point and again SWP found themselves behind for only the second time in the game within as many minutes. With a minute left of the clock and some shroud passing, SWP were fouled under the basket, again staking them to the free-throw line. Tensions high, the first shot was missed and eased the Steelers nerves and the second one rattled home taking the score to 53-52. A tactical change for a tired Arun, saw Adam R. take to the court and within second of coming on put up 3 and made the shot convincingly and giving a 4 point advantage and 34 second left on the clock. SWP pushed hard and again a rare turnover of the ball and a clam Llanelli progressed up the court and Frank to rob SWP of a victory with the last basket of the game – Llanelli Win! 52-58

Adam DW - 4
Adam R - 6
Arun - 11
Frank - 14
Josh Th. - 4
Max - 12
Wyn - 7 and MVP


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