A tale of two seasons – part 1

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. One of the worst seasons in Rocks’ history lingered in the memory of many. For the rest of us, it was a clean slate.

It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness. We felt we could do much better this season – we fancied another run to a final. Was hoping for a piece of silverware or two stretching it a bit?

It was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity. We signed Ali Fraser then we signed Kieron Achara too!

It was the season of light, it was thse season of darkness. We brought in a quality, exciting, “ignite the arena” point guard…. then we binned him for “discipline issues”.

It was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. We’d finally found our centre. Then we realised he wasn’t very good and binned him. Then we forgot why we’d got rid of him and signed him again. Then we remembered, but it was too late!

We had everything before us, we had nothing before us. A legit chance at the cup, arguably the easiest playoff path. Nothing.

We were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way. The folk who turned up at the Plymouth games deserved a place in heaven. They probably thought they were already in hell.

In short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. Half the fans seemed delighted that we’d reached a cup final and finished 5th in the league. The other half were raging that we’d won hee haw yet again.

When you follow a team such as the Rocks, there’s perhaps more opportunity for highs and lows than any other team. We’re somewhere between mediocre and average without every displaying such a standard. For a team who strive to avoid buying silver polish, our season(s) are anything but ordinary.

We had surrended so meekly to all but the bottom feeders the previous season, so you’d think that it’d be pretty difficult to find any lows early on. Welcome to the age of foolishness!

In week 1 we had 3 games. Allow me to paint you a picture of just why we don’t do ordinary.
Game 1: 3 down against Bristol (who had only played 1 BBL game in their history) with ten minutes to go, we lost by 17.
Game 2: We’d scored a grand total of 29 by halftime against Leeds. Fortunately, Tayo Ogedengbe took matters into his own hands and pulled us out of a hole. We were aided heavily by Leeds foul trouble and a rather untimely injury to Patrick Nyeko. Make no mistake, this game was pretty grim (I was there)
Game 3: We got beat by Surrey. We only had 5-6 fit players but history doesn’t remember the injury list. Worst result of the season, if not ever.

Then it all changed! We signed Olympic hero and all round good guy, Kieron Achara. It’s difficult to find someone who didn’t point to this as one of their season highs. London and Leicester were quickly dispatched, putting the train back on the track to glory.

Oh, and we binned Paul Egwuonwu at this point. We’ll come back to that later though.

Someone forgot to put coal into the train’s boiler and it ran out of steam almost immediately. We succumbed to a Cheshire team who could barely fill a Fiat Panda with their squad. A situation made worse given our recent history and “love” for them.

Morale through the floor again? Take a look at the comeback! This was one of my personal highs, as was it Jills.

The first of our Newcastle defeats soon followed. We’ll come back to the subject of Newcastle later – it deserves a chapter of its own. A tear-stained, “how come we never beat them”, gin-soaked chapter of its own.

One week on and another high point arrived. Leicester decided they only wanted to defend for 39 minutes 58 seconds, allowing Kieron Achara to nonchalantly toss the ball into the basket from beyond the 3 point line.
Cue shouts of “You guys wouldn’t have won if it wasn’t for a lucky last second shot” from my favourite BBL fans. Cue shouts of “#@1£$! ^*&**!” from the coach, as he kicked down 2 advertising boards, bit 4 chunks out of the famous orange couch and drank the blood from 3 babies.
On we went to the next round of the cup, while the bestest team in the BBL (If the BBL only included bottle crashers from the midlands) got to watch the semi finals from the comfort of their own homes.

Want to know what happened beyond the middle of November? You could probably go onto the Rocks website and check out all the scores. Where’s the fun in that? Besides, everything above is 100% truth. Honest!