Winning start for Bulldogs in new home at the Skyliner
Bury St Edmunds Basketball Club’s Suffolk Reserve side got off to a winning start at the Skyliner Sports Centre, with a 66-57 victory over Braintree Blue Devils in the Suffolk Cup.
It was the first match for the club in their new home for the season, a pool stage match in the county-wide competition.
The fixture, sponsored by Gascoynes Accountants, began better for the visitors as the first quarter left the home team on the back foot at 14-7.
But a stronger second quarter got them back level – with the scores equal on 29-all at the half-time point.
Returning Bulldog Neil Thompson was dominant off the bench as he controlled the paint at both ends, while rookie Jim Walker also impressed off the bench in his debut, showing energy and composure beyond his years.
However, it was David Wise who led the way in crunch time, scoring eight of his points in the final stanza, as the Bulldogs outplayed their opponents in the final stage with greater pace and energy to hold them to single digits.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the effort from the guys,” coach Seb Benford said.
“Everyone contributed to the result, and it’s a pleasure to get the season started in this way.”
Bulldogs’ player of the game was David Wise, who led the hosts’ scoring with 13 points, supported by Ollie Cowling (10) and Jack Collins (7). Meanwhile, Braintree’s Gonzales was the game’s highest scorer with 15 points.
Veteran pivot Neil Thompson heaped praise on Wise, as he said: “He was brave down the stretch, driving to draw a number of fouls that helped us secure the win.”
Thompson added: “It was great to pull the Bulldogs jersey on again, and to start the season the right way.”
Wise, however, was modest as he spoke of the team effort. He said: “It was a balanced, well-disciplined team performance, especially in the final quarter where some key tactical changes from coach Benford helped us to get a hard-earned win.”
The Bulldogs’ first team is next in action, also in a Suffolk Cup pool match, on October 12 (7.35pm), in their season opener away to Clacton Cannons before playing their first home game on Sunday, October 14 (6.15pm) to Ipswich Saxons.
But the club will first host its first-ever Casino Night at Moreton Hall Community Centre on October 5.