A tale of two seasons – part 4

T’was the night before April, when all through the house not a Rocks fan was stirring, not even a mouse.

Playing Surrey should’ve felt like an early Christmas present. Despite a better squad, they were still pretty poor. However, the memories of an early season defeat still lingered. Most of us harboured the fear that we’d end up with coal and a tangerine again.

The original “Night before Christmas” was published in 1823. Incidentally, this is the number of turnovers Anthony Downing had in the above game. Every Rocks player scored as we went on to skelp United (terrible name – how do you do a cool badge with a name like that?) by 36. We decided that we were great again.

Thankfully Plymouth reminded us just how bad we could be 2 days later. I think I missed this game. Either that or i’ve sucessfully blocked it from memory. Apparently this was the 7th win in a row for Plymouth against the Rocks. The thought is enough to drive you to drink. It’s quite good that the Emirates kindly price us out of alcoholism – very community spirited of them. #GetStrongbow

The London Lions visited shortly after to endure the pleasure of being swept. In a season’s first for the Lions, Mikal Stibbins stayed on the court and Vince Macaulay kept his jacket on.
Rumour had it they took the bus up as the piggy bank was rather short on bacon. I did the very same journey once, thinking that a tenner on the megabus was a bargain. It wasn’t. Dont do it. If someone pays you a lot of money, still dont do it!

5 days on and we faced an away double header in the South West against Bristol and Worcester. Is Worcester even in the South West? The Midlands?

Worcester used to be a major centre for glove making. They also make Lea & Perrins.
Bristol is more famous for its role in the slave trade than for manufacturing a tasty sauce. Banksy is reputed to come from here too.

Now you’ve been educated I should probably tell you that we won one and lost one. A few fans made the trip down for these games – great effort!

Back up the road and we beat Surrey again. The match report talked of a “trademark double double from kramer knutson”. Why no mention of a trademark hissyfit from jack majewski? The guy puts a lot of effort into these tantrums. It seems rude not to recognise the man’s art!

A mere two days later we were back down south to play Leeds. It wasn’t hugely eventful apart from the fact we won. Fast forward another two days and we faced Plymouth for the third and final time this season. The Rocks decided that they’d bother to play against Plymouth this time. Unfortunately it was in Devon and no-one got to see it. Still, we got a win heading into the play offs and Tayo Ogedengbe scored a Rocks’ season high 34 points in this game.

Who’d we get in the play offs? Cheshire. I was pretty gutted at this, having stated that I fancied taking Leicester or Worcester. A few of the Leicester fans didn’t particularly agree with this, taking the view that they were amazing and they’d beat everyone and take the play off title. I’m fairly sure someone’s eye popped out as they tried to deal with the concept that they’d already been bombed out of 3 competitions.

The first leg of the play off was in Glasgow – as it should be. Our two previous play off appearances didn’t follow this pattern, with the lower seed getting the home leg second. That’s a discussion for another day though.

This game was reasonably close until the fourth quarter. Yet again, Cheshire were there for the taking. We collapsed in the final ten minutes and lost the first leg by 13. Cheshire really closed this one down towards the end, fighting for every point.

The return leg was at the world famous “Northgate Arena”. Many players have went there and remarked rather unfavourably at the “facilities” on offer. The experience is sort of like playing on a slab patio under street lighting at 10 O’clock at night. Anyway, we put in a good shift this time round. I think we lead for most of the game (disclaimer: That might be complete nonsense) and finished the game with a one point lead. We lost by 12 overall and the season was over.

Our season:
5th in the league with a 21/15 record
Runners up in the cup
Lost in the 1/4 finals of the trophy
Lost in the 1/4 finals of the play offs

Anyone want to know what happened to Leicester in the play offs? They got horsed (see what I did there) in the 1/4 finals by Sheffield. It was a genuine moment of solidarity amongst BBL fans as we all came together to laugh at the Riders. #riderup? #HorsedAgain more like.

See you all next season!