Worle scrape into the semi-finals

PUBLISHED: 10:30 08 May 2006 | UPDATED: 09:14 24 May 2010

WORLE progressed to the semi-final of the trophy competition after winning by the skin of their teeth.

Worle 66 UWE Phantoms 65WORLE progressed to the semi-final of the trophy competition after winning by the skin of their teeth.The handicapping system meant that Worle started the game 27 points down, but on the evidence of the first quarter this should have been no problem. As it turned out, Worle failed to match their first quarter as the game continued and in the end, were lucky to hang on.After some near misses with the first two or three offences, Marc Hartley opened with a rebound shot. Soon after, Luke Davis came in on the left-hand baseline and Russ Hayward followed with two three-pointers. Spencer Gilbert hit a jumpshot and Davis added two more scores, one inside and one jumpshot from the free throw line.At this point, Worle had scored 16 without reply and had already pulled back over half the initial deficit with only five minutes gone. The defence was tight and Phantoms were nervous, seemingly uncertain how to defend the points they had started with. After a couple of blank minutes, Worle began to move again. Hartley scored inside and Hayward hit his third three. Richard Green drove through to lay up and Steve Walford hit from the keyside so Worle were closing in at 31-26 at the first interval.In the second quarter, Worle simply could not get moving. Joe Aldus, in a break before his university finals, sank a three-pointer, but that was all they had to show for the first six minutes. Hardly anything went right in offence. At the other end, the defence was still efficient, but Phantoms began to pick up points here and there and Worle fell to 10 down at 39-29. Then a burst of scoring with points by Hartley, Green, Gilbert and Hayward saw Worle close once more. A final three-pointer, Hayward's fourth, left Worle well positioned at 44-40, provided there were no more hiccups, at half time.Worle's progress continued steadily, if not spectacularly in the third period. Gilbert and Davis got the points as they levelled at 50 each and then went ahead. And apart from scoring more, Worle had played well enough to have been even further ahead. But in the closing minutes, Mike O'Sullivan found some form and Aldus drove through on the break and Worle were six up, 58-52, with one period to play.As the fourth quarter got under way, both teams seemed to freeze. Hartley took some free throws, but turnovers by both teams and some wild shooting kept the scores in check. Aldus came up with a three-point play and two rather scrambled shots by Hayward went in, and at 66-54, Worle now had a 12-point lead.This should have been enough to break Phantoms, who had so far only scored 27 on the night, but if anybody, it seemed Worle who were broken. Try as they might, they could not score again and rarely looked as though they were likely to. But Phantoms did. Three more scores and the gap was down to six and for the first time in the game, Phantoms looked as if they believed they could win. Coach Brian Skidmore called a time-out and although this did not improve the offence, it stiffened the defence and Phantoms were held out until the last minute. Then a foul put Phantoms on the line and both free throws registered. The gap was now only four. Again a Worle offence failed but the clock was ticking away. Worle pulled a rebound but lost possession with an offensive foul. Phantoms came back with a three and the gap was down to one. But this time, Worle held on.Hayward top-scored with 18 points, Gilbert (12) and Davis (10) also made double figures. Aldus scored eight and Hartley seven.

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