Playoff Semifinal Match Report: Rockets Men 70-55 Worcester Wolves

Rockets’ Men came out on top against Worcester Wolves to secure their place in the playoff final with a 70-55 win in a thrilling local derby at Nechells Wellbeing Centre on Saturday evening.

Rockets went into the game off the back of an impressive victory against Greenwich Titans in the quarter finals.

Worcester arrived in Nechells after overcoming the fourth seed Southern Conference Brighton Bears to progress to the semi-finals.

The first few minutes were tense with both teams working each other out.

Rockets started off slow, with Worcester quickly opening a 6-0 lead inside the opening three minutes.

Ron Oberia took off with a signature dunk to fire up the sold-out home crowd, he ended the game leading Rockets in scoring with 21 points.

Rockets started to find their feet and show their quality.

Ron Oberia and Sam Toluwase led the charge for Rockets as we looked to keep Wolves in touching distance.

A huge Sam Toluwase three point shot with just seconds remaining in the first cut the deficit down to 5 points as we trailed 14-19 going into the second quarter.

Coach Gayle’s side came out the blocks firing in the second as we cut the gap to just one point, with the scores set at 21-22 in Worcester’s favour after a Nathan Ramsdale -Owen shot from beyond the arc.

Martyn Gayle’s mid-range jumper and Ron Oberia’s three-pointer levelled the game at 28 each as Rockets began to ware down our visitors’ stubborn resistance.

Rockets would grab the final score of the quarter to go into the break two points ahead.

The third quarter proved decisive as Rockets established a lead which would prove decisive as our visitors had no answer for the barrage of Rockets attacks.

Rockets looked solid defensively with Simon Hoar showing great hustle and rebounding well, forcing Worcester into turn overs and fast break opportunities which were duly taken advantage of.

As Worcester continued to push to find a way back into the contest, more gaps began to open up on the break with Ron Oberia taking full advantage with a thunderous dunk to take the roof off of a sold-out Nechells.

The third quarter ended with Rockets leading 46-39.

Christian Prince’s return to form after an early season injury continued with his seven rebounds crucial in nullifying Worcester’s late attempts to turn the game into more of a contest.

As the game ticked towards its climax, Coach Gayle’s side began to show their offensive flair and entertain the capacity home crowd – the highlight of which being Sam Toluwase’s reverse dunk which capped off a fantastic evening of entertainment for the home crowd.

Toluwase would finish the game with a double-double as we finished our final home game of the season in the best possible way.

The game ended with Rockets winning 70-55, a comfortable 15-point margin that gives the team added confidence going into the playoff final in Manchester against a strong St Helens Saints side.

Click here for all the travel and ticket information for Saturday’s game!