Match Report: Worcester Wolves 67-68 City of Birmingham Rockets

Jordan Dawes’ late shot ensured our progression to the next stage of the NBL Cup, sparking pandemonium amongst the Rockets contingent at Worcester University Arena on Sunday afternoon.

The hosts had built up a double-digit lead and held it as late as the final quarter before a host of free throws and a late Wolves turnover with seconds left allowed Rockets the possession which would ultimately seal the victory.

The Rockets dominated the first quarter, building a commanding 21-8 advantage by the end of the first thanks to some strong shooting from range in the early stages.

Vasile Pirvu set the Rockets on their way with a pair of early threes, whilst Faaris Mughal added another to compliment the strong two-point efficiency from the ever-reliable Michael Gayle.

Mike Thiep also provided a dominating presence in the paint as our hosts struggled to contain the early Rockets onslaught.

Worcester fought back in the second quarter, narrowing the Rockets’ lead to five at the interval as our hosts looked to recover.

An early spell at the start of the third saw Worcester claim their first significant advantage of the game, going up by eight approaching the half way point in the third.

Nathan Ramsdale-Owen hit a three from the left side whilst Jordan Dawes posed a threat from midrange as the Rockets looked to stem the tide of Worcester pressure which had only increased in intensity as the third wore on.

The Rockets would finish the quarter eight points behind before slowly chipping away at Worcester’s lead throughout the final quarter.

Thiep proved a nuisance on the defensive end throughout, and would provide a crucial block with Worcester looking to reinstate a seven-point advantage.

On the resulting counter, the Rockets would go on to split a pair of free throws to bring us back to within four with three minutes to play.

The Rockets’ tight defence scuppered Worcester’s attempts to pull away and more free throws from Dawes and Gayle put the game within one with just seconds remaining.

Worcester squandered their final possession which allowed Dawes to get a shot away under immense pressure, which fell to secure a comeback win in the most dramatic of circumstances.