Match Report: University of Chester 54-72 City of Birmingham Rockets

City of Birmingham Rockets Senior Men’s First Team recorded a first league win of the season courtesy of a comprehensive 72-54 victory away at University of Chester on Saturday evening. 

The Rockets showed no signs of a hangover from last weekend’s opening night disappointment, dominating for long periods against Chester on route to a comfortable road victory. 

The first quarter opened with early free throws for Chester before an end-to-end high scoring contest started, with Michael Gayle and Matt Parker both setting the Rockets on their way with a couple of threes.

Chester enjoyed their best spell of the game in the first quarter, and whilst a late Matt Parker free-throw rounded off the scoring for the opening period, the Rockets would go into the break 24-19 down.

Coach Paul Douglas’ side came out fighting in the second, recording a 25 point quarter whilst limiting our hosts to just 14, as the Rockets established a healthy lead that would remain intact for the remainder of the game.

Mike Thiep was instrumental throughout both offensively and defensively by way of thwarting a host of Chester plays with important blocks, whilst his presence in the paint at the other end proved a thorn in our host’s defence throughout.

Faaris Mughal’s basket put the Rockets ahead 34-33, before Matt Parker, Ethan Woodward and Vasile Pirvu ensured we made it to half-time with a six-point advantage.

The Rockets dominated the third from the outset, with the ever dangerous Thiep combining with Jordan Dawes multiple times to make it 59-46 by the end of the quarter.

Chester, try as they might, appeared unable to land a glove against Rockets’ growing dominance in the third, with Thiep a commanding presence as the Rockets pulled away to take the lead their play warranted.

The final quarter would see more of the same, with Michael Gayle getting the Rockets to an unassailable 70 either side of more points by Thiep.

The final score was 54-72, a score which by no means flattered Coach Douglas’ side, as a commanding, assured performance secured an important victory.

Our next game is tomorrow against Team Birmingham Elite in the NBL Cup, where we’ll be looking to continue on from today’s win and avenge last week’s league defeat.

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