CWA Fury 82
Barking and Dagenham Thunder 89
Fury’s biggest home crowd of the season saw a titanic overtime battle at the Lynnsport Arena against the unbeaten league leaders.
Fury started the better on Saturday, boosted by the roar of the 101 fans packed inside Lynnsport and ended the first quarter 27-19 up.
The numbers were boosted by the match sponsor, Optima Stainless, whose support allowed Fury to let all club members in free of charge for the evening.
Fury were confident of matching the visitors who boasted several former Division One players in their ranks. But that experience showed in the second quarter where Thunder reversed the momentum and took a one point lead going into half-time.
The third quarter went to Fury who took a 64–57 lead. But with six seconds on the clock, Thunder’s William Omope threw a thunderous three, which gave the visitors a one point lead.
But with 3.3 seconds left, a well-worked play saw Fury’s Deividas Butkevicius rise and hit a two on the buzzer to draw the scores level.
Overtime was a one-way affair after Thunder composed themselves and showed true championship potential in a free-flowing five minutes that saw them take 11 points to Fury’s four.
James Bamfield, Fury chairman and head coach, said: “Obviously it’s a disappointing result, but I’m buoyed by large elements of the performance, it was definitely our best performance as a group.
“Overtime only served to emphasise the way we need to play against the top teams. There was a clear response from the group in terms of their focus and discipline.
“Our visit to Cambridge now becomes a must-win game.”
Captain Richard Milbourne said: “To say I’m disappointed is an understatement. We were able to control the game for 35 minutes. I feel as though we gave the game away at the end. We have to trust each other and the game plan more.”
Promoter Kevin Holland said: “I think we just saw this season’s champions and it hurts because we matched them in every area for long periods.
“Our attention now turns to Cambridge Cats who we visit next Saturday in the league. They’ll be looking to get one over us after knocking them out of the Shield last week.”
Leading Fury scorers: Jonas Pranevicius 20, Eivydas Aleksa 17, Deividas Butkevicius 17.