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Report: Flyers U14s Top The League

Bristol Flyers U14s have guaranteed their place at the top of the table following some impressive victories over their nearest rivals.

Flyers began the month knowing they had the chance to claim top spot with back-to-back title deciding weekends. First up at the SGS WISE Arena on March, 5th were Vale Vipers and Torbay Tigers. Flyers U14s I had not played Vale before, but had lost to Torbay earlier in the season.

In the first game against Vale, Flyers started sloppily with multiple turnovers and missed shots, but still held a 28-17 lead at half-time. Flyers improved after the break, but Vale came back strong.

Vale reduced Flyers lead to 38-34 at the end of third quarter and drew level at 48-48 with two minutes left. The sides exchanged three-pointers and then Vale took a two-point lead with one minute left. From the next possession Flyers drew a foul and sunk one free throw, then won a turnover and sunk the basket to take a narrow one-point lead with ten seconds left on the clock.

Flyers' strong defence won another turnover and they had a halfway line inbound with four seconds left. However, the ball was lost and Vale broke to sink a layup on the buzzer to win the game 54-55. Sport can be cruel and Flyers were devastated, but managed to compose themselves to congratulate the Vale players.

Torbay then beat Vale in the second game to remain unbeaten. The Flyers' next game against Torbay was going to be a challenge for the players who had to pick themselves up.

The team spirit was obvious in the way they prepared for the game. Flyers were strong in defence and held a 17-12 lead in a low scoring first half. Flyers let loose more on offence in the second half, including several three-pointers, and won the game 42-24. The day’s split results meant Vale finished with a 5-2 record and both Flyers and Torbay held 4-1 records.

The following weekend, Flyers headed to Cornwall to play Penryn Saracens and Cardiff Archers. Penryn had a 3-0 record, but lost their best player last week with a broken leg. Flyers ran out comfortable winners 53-28 with strong defence to keep out Penryn's 6’6” forward, helped by good shot choice and great free-throw shooting.

The final game was against Cardiff, who arrived late and with only six players. Cardiff surprised Flyers to lead 11-12 after first quarter. But Flyers picked up the pace to dominate the next two quarters to lead 41-21.

Cardiff rallied to pull it back to 43-32, but the game was over once their main threat succumbed to the temptation being presented by the Flyers offence and was fouled out. Final score 49-35 to Flyers.

Following these wins, Flyers hold a 12-2 record: 6-1 in Div South before Christmas and also 6-1 in Div 1 after Christmas. There are still games left to complete the league, but both Torbay and Penryn who can equal Flyers 6-1 record have been beaten by Flyers. Flyers will therefore remain top of the league courtesy of their superior head-to-head results.

A great end to the season, well done to all involved.

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