Approaching the third month of the season, Worthing Thunder still hadn’t recorded a league victory. Down by double digits against the BBL’s weakest team, Gary Smith was facing the unthinkable prospect of allowing one of your best chances of getting off the mark to slip through your fingers.

Throw in the fact that you have only just been handed back the coaching reins with little time to work thoroughly with your players and at one point on Saturday night, Worthing head coach Smith found himself in one almighty jam.

Gary Smith was a relieved man

To his understandable relief, his team finally came up trumps and managed to dodge a serious bullet by seeing off Essex Pirates 95-92 to get that precious first league success.

“It was such a tough one,” admitted Smith.

“I don’t think it was actually until the players realised the implications of losing to Essex on our home court that it truly sunk in just how much our backs were to the wall at that point.”

“Suddenly we started playing better defence and began to get ourselves out of the hole we had created for ourselves.”

“We came up with stops and made better decisions offensively since I think it became clear we were in serious danger of losing the game.

“When the game went into overtime and particularly down the stretch, I think they began to run on empty which wasn’t surprising taking into account the effort they put into it. They were so well organised and probably though they had done enough to win.

“In the end though, I thought our guys coming off the bench did a great job and we just found enough to get ourselves home. It was a tough one and we made it hard for ourselves and for our supporters watching but we got the win I guess.”

Smith now has a fortnight’s gap to fine tune his line-up and attempt to add reinforcements to Worthing’s threadbare roster.

“I know people might talk about momentum being broken after getting our first success but we really need some time to work on things,” he added.

“I will hopefully be able to secure a friendly against non-BBL opposition and that will give us an opportunity to test whether we are capable of playing defence to a consistent level.”

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • MySpace
  • Print

You must be logged in to post a comment Login