King’s Lynn Fury tomorrow play their first home game of the season when they host old rivals Brentwood Fire in a National Shield game.
Fire won the South East Division last season which ultimately gained them promotion to Division Three.
Neither side will forget that when the two sides met in the Play-Offs in Brentwood it was Fury, with fantastic travelling support, who came out on top.
Gates open at Lynnsport at 5.15pm; tip at 6pm. Admission: adults £5, children £3.
Last weekend Fury fell short of another famous victory, going down 100-86 in the National Cup against an Ipswich side who finished third in Division Two last season.
Ipswich have been knocking on the door of promotion to the First Division for the past two years and have recruited well over the summer.
Fury have been looking to build on their late season surge to the Division Four Play-Offs last April. Fury’s pre-season had included tough fixtures with two USA select sides, another American outfit in USAF Lakenheath and a win over Derbyshire Arrows, also of Division Two, so confidence was high going into the tie.
However issues with FIBA clearance left Fury without both the outside threat of Mindaugas Spukas and the size of new signing 6ft 8in Wojtek Jablecki. This would prove key against a quality side boasting five players above 6ft8!
Giedrius Pakalniskis carried on from his excellent pre-season with a tremendous display of acrobatic finishes, while new signings Audrius Greckis and Arnas Maziliauskas showed why Bamfield had added them to the squad. Ipswich still maintained a 10-point advantage going into the third period break but extended their lead to 15 points with under five minutes to go.
Fury took their final timeout and driven on by captain Alexander Laryn all the players showed great heart despite clear fatigue.
With 1.22 to play Fury cut the lead to five but a quick fast-break followed by a rushed shot allowed Ipswich to stretch the lead back to nine and as Fury chased the game the lead extended.
The home side led 56-48 at the half and had stretched that to 76-66 at the end of the third.
Bamfield said: “I was very proud today. Ipswich are a side fancied for promotion boasting two full England international caps and a GB U20, as well as several “pro” players. To push them as hard as we did is a fantastic testament to the group we have assembled this year.
“I thought Tomas Liberis was outstanding today and has really benefited from the switch to shooting guard while Deividas Butkevicius showed his quality playing with foul trouble against one of the best big men in the country.
“I know these players and they have a real point to prove after last season being denied promotion and we will be working extremely hard to improve in certain areas, especially our defence.
“We cannot give up 100-plus and expect to win games at a higher level. I have to take responsibility for that as with limited court time I have chosen to put more focus on our offence.”
Ipswich’s take on the game is here: http://www.ipswichbasketball.net/index.php/senior-teams/item/279-ipswich-cruise-in-round-one