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Owen Parker

Owen Parker writes

Posted Monday, December 11th 2017

Report: Gloucester Saxons 49-78 Bristol Flyers II

Bristol Flyers II continued their strong run of form with a convincing victory over new local rivals Gloucester Saxons away from home on Saturday night.

The matchup saw former team mates from Bristol Storm and Bristol Flyers face off but the Bristol Flyers stalwarts dominated to improve to 7-1 on the season in National League Division 4 Men South West.


What happened

Flyers big man Jakub Kulig won the tip but the team failed to capitalise on the momentum with a missed shot quickly followed by the drive, lay-up and one from Wickens Simba.

Kulig opened the scoring for Flyers with a trip to the free throw line courtesy of a pass inside from Flyers point guard Berwin Wilks and a foul by Saxons Kashir Baptist.

Both teams continued to profit from drives inside, with Flyers’ Captain Aistis Keliauskas also completing a three point play.

Flyers built an early five point lead with a drive and kick assist from Keliauskas on a fall away, contested three pointer from Gus Campbell.

Ex-Gloucester Saxons player and Under-14s coach Rhys Farrell came off the bench for Bristol, and announced his return with an emphatic block on Ben Williams leading to an unsportsmanlike foul by Simba while trying to stop the fast break.

Jordan Daniels failed to press the advantage from the line.  Saxons made a six to nothing run to close out the quarter with a one point lead, 12-11.

Saxons Andrew Hambleton, formerly of the Flyers’ BBL team and recently signed after a stint with Leeds Force, started the second quarter with an offensive foul. Saxons frustration built as a second offensive foul was called on forward Ben Williams.

Aistis Keliauskas finished with a game-high 31 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists

Flyers held their opponents scoreless for four minutes with Farrell blocking two further shorts and Jermaine Major grabbing two steals. Flyers poured in 12 points during this run to establish a significant lead, 12-23. Saxons regained their composure and matched Flyers basket for basket through the rest of the second period but Flyers went into half time with a 19-32 lead.

Flyers continued their tough defence in the third quarter, forcing a 24 second violation. Simba continued to prove a handful for the visitors with a quick first step getting him through to the basket on multiple attempts. The Flyers lead was eroding until Keliauskas made a key three pointer to stem the bleeding. Keliauskas connected from long range with two further three pointers.

A series of technical fouls were called on Hambleton after frustration with the referees boiled over and he was ejected from the game. He picked up a further bench technical while making his way to the locker room bringing the penalty to three free throws. Keliauskas coolly converted all three from the line to take the Flyers lead to 19. Saxons once again made a run with Williams working inside and Simba drawing further shooting fouls but were unable to make a real dent finishing the third 38-56.

The fourth quarter saw Flyers maintain their lead until the game turned into a rout in the final four minutes. Saxons had their heads down allowing Flyers to get up above the rim. Curtly Ferguson converted an alley-oop dunk and a one handed slam in transition. Keliauskas continued to hit from outside with further three pointer, leading all scorers with 31 points. A final steal and go ahead pass from Jermaine Major led to a Jordan Daniels two handed flush. The game finished Saxons 49 to Flyers 78.

Bristol Flyers II’s next home game is on Saturday, January 27th against Taunton Tigers (4pm). Entry is FREE so come on down to the WISE Arena early to show your support and warm up for the BBL game against London Lions later that evening.

Report by Owen Parker
Images by Bryony Parker