CWA Lynn Fury face a season-defining final home match, as they are just one win away from making the basketball National League Division Four play-offs.
They earned this chance after a superb all-round display saw them crush their biggest rivals Cambridge Cats by the huge margin of 93-59 at Lynnsport on Saturday evening.
Three teams from the East Midland Division will go into the post-season as part of a 16 team national knock-out play-off format.
Brentwood Fire have clinched their spot, as have Barking and Dagenham Thunder. Cats have finished their schedule on nine wins and five losses so currently hold the third spot. Fury (8 and 5) have one more fixture, at home to Northants Tauras (7 and 6) at Lynnsport tomorrow (6pm). A win and Fury leapfrog the Cats and take third.
Coach James Bamfield last weekend sent his team out knowing that the Cats held the edge in the race for the final play-off spot and still hurting from the fourth quarter melt-down against Barking and Dagenham Thunder the previous week.
In a match very reminiscent of 2014 Fury had to not only defeat the Cats but ensure that the winning margin was greater than 10 points. Last season, the target had been a five point victory which proved beyond them.
Bamfield’s last message to his troops was that last year the team was not ready but this time they certainly were.
Defensively Fury knew that they needed to contain Sam Richardson, who set the tone for the Cats in their previous encounter. Richard Milbourne was tasked with marking this dangerous player and did an excellent job.
With Cats ahead at 14-13 a tight game seemed likely but following a devastating 17-4 burst to close out the first quarter Fury would never again be headed. Instrumental in this run was Mindaugas Spukas who hit three triples. Artur Jakiel chipped in with two further three-pointers.
Leading 30-18 at the start of the second, Fury cranked up the pressure. By the interval Fury had an almost unbelievable 53-29 lead.
Cats reduced the deficit to 16 but Fury ended the quarter with an 8-1 run to regain almost total control at 68-45. Four triples landed in the first five minutes of the final quarter as Fury stretched the lead to 82-48 to wrap up their mission.
Until the very last minute, Milbourne did not allow a single score from any of the players he was marking. Overall, this was Fury’s most impressive performance of the season with 17 triples shared between seven different players.
Leading scorers: Spukas 19 points, Jonas Pranevicius 16, Eivydas Aleska, 13 and Jakiel 11.
Fury won 114-68 on their visit to Northampton in January but are expecting a very different Tauras team tomorrow. Tauras most notably had an 81-72 win at Cats in November.
The support Fury received from a large, enthusiastic crowd on Saturday was tremendous and the club state they need all their fans to back them in their final home game of the regular season.