Hull Hornets: Master Tournement 2

The Hornets were boosted by the return of Steve Leng in the second day of the GB Masters tournament.

It promised to be a tough day 2. With games against the two best teams in the league. In Rochdale Rockets and Ancona Animals.

Rochdale Rockets have been around Masters basketball for a number of years, and have a number of ex-National League players in their ranks.

Ancona Animals were an unknown to the Hornets. But their quality was above anything the Hornets had faced in the 10 years of masters basketball.

Ancona had players from Bosnia, USA, Croatia and Israel. Two of the Bosnian players were ex-Junior Internationals. While the player from Israel had played professionally for Maccabi tel-Aviv for 4 years.

The Hornets started the midday game slowly against Rochdale. Losing the first quarter 17-8. Rochdale made good use of their fast break, and 3-point shooters.

In the second quarter, the Hornets came into the game. Drawing the 9-9. The third quarter was equally tight. With the Hornets starting to push Rochdale on the break. The third quarter ending 13-12 Rochdale.

The fourth quarter was a tighter affair. With the Hornets edging it 8 – 10.

The Hornets again finishing the game the stronger, but coming up a little short 47-39.

The final game of the tournament put the Hornets against a team that had won all three games. Winning all their games comfortably. Scoring 129 points in the 3 games.

From the start it was easy to see the quality of Ancona. They were strong under the boards, quick on the break, and possessed a number of players that could shoot 3-pointers.

Despite this, the Hornets managed to keep within 10 points of Ancona going into the 3rd quarter.

Then the injuries, and fatigue started to show. With Ancona moving the Hornets zone around with slick quick passing. Before shooting a number of 3-pointers.

The Hornets fought bravely to the end with the final score 52-21.

This tournament has been a tough one for the Hornets. Having to play with one injured player, one recovery from a chest infection, and losing another player for 2 games with a head injury. We also were without one player recovering from surgery and another that has been called up for the GB squad.

Despite all this the games have been close in 3 of the games. Losing by only 10, 8 and 6 points.

The heaviest defeat was against a team of high quality. Who would have probably beaten any of the teams in the over 50’s section.

The Hornets will now turn their attention to the Galway masters in November. Where they hope to have better luck with injuries, and returning players.

Lastly, we’d like to send our thanks to Graham Cullingworth. Who, it looks like, may have played his last GB Masters tournament for the Hornets.

Graham has been with the team for several years. A great player, and a long-term friend to many of us.