City of Birmingham Rockets suffered cup elimination at the hands of Team Birmingham Elite on Sunday evening.
A fiercely competitive tie swung both ways a number of times throughout, with our visitors doing enough to hold on and claim the victory.
The first quarter saw the Rockets reverse an early Team Birmingham lead thanks in part to the efficient shooting of Faaris Mughal and Michael Gayle.
A host of technical free throws helped Team Birmingham retake their lead before the quarter was up, with tempers beginning to flare both on and off the court.
A strong start to the second saw the pendulum swing back in favour of the Rockets, with a Jordan Dawes three and a pair of free-throws reversing the first quarter damage.
Michael Gayle then grabbed his own miss before converting the second chance opportunity, a play that personified the fighting spirit and tenacity on display from Coach Douglas’ side throughout.
A Mike Thiep dunk at the height of the second quarter’s sparring roused the home crowd, with his ever-reliable defensive presence stifling an increasingly frustrated Team Birmingham offense.
However, our visitors would take the lead once again in the second, with Chogugudza’s efficiency from three a constant threat before he eventually succumbed to a knee injury in the third which ended his night.
Despite this setback, our visitors rallied to an 8-point advantage which would be all but wiped out as quickly as it had been accumulated thanks to effective work in the paint from Dawes and Thiep, before Matt Parker’s three put the game back to within one.
The game would remain in constant flux until the end of the quarter, with Team Birmingham taking a narrow lead into the final stretch.
A frantic finale ensued, with an Elvis Zeiluks three bringing the game back to within one midway through the fourth.
Team Birmingham would hold a narrow lead for the majority of the final quarter before stretching their advantage inside the final two minutes to six points.
Despite a late Rockets rally this would be how things finished, ending our cup participation for the 2021/22 season.