Fury’s National Shield run comes to an end

MLNF Deividus Butkevicius
MLNF Deividus Butkevicius
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Oxford Brookes 102

Lynn Fury 90

CWA Lynn Fury almost completed a super comeback in the quarter-final of the National Shield on Saturday.

This was a tough draw for the Fury, away at last year’s finalists and a team who were unbeaten so far this season.

This was made even more difficult with the suspension of leading scorer Deividas Butkevicius, however, Fury came out strong in the first quarter, and were only trailing by two at the end of the first period of play.

In the second quarter, the size and athleticism of the Oxford line-up began to show as they out-rebounded a small Fury side.

The ball movement also dried up on offence as the Fury struggled to keep pace.

At half-time, Fury had a mountain to climb, trailing 59-42.

Fury battled gamely in the third quarter with some excellent shooting from Mindaugas Spukas and Jonas Pranevicius keeping the Lynn side in the game.

However, with six minutes left, Fury still trailed by 19. But CWA Fury showed some fantastic resilience, desire and teamwork, fighting their way back into the match. They got as close as two points, 89-87 with just over two minutes remaining.

Unfortunately, they couldn’t quite complete the remarkable comeback, falling just short. Pranevicius led the way with 27 points while Spukas added 20.

After the game, coach James Bamfield said: “Today we played some of the best basketball we’ve played all season.

“The way we passed and worked as a team in the final quarter was the way I want us to play all the time.

“No team can stick with us when we play like this, and that showed today against a talented, unbeaten team.

“I was proud of how the team stuck together and showed real character.

“We need that going into the rest of the season as every game will be vital from here on.”

Fury play their last home game before Christmas at Lynnsport tomorrow versus Hertfordshire Warriors. Tip is 6pm.