Our first teams were both in action over the course of a productive weekend at Nechells Wellbeing Centre.
Saturday saw our Men’s First Team host Warwickshire Hawks before Worcester Wolves visited us on Sunday to play both of our first teams that evening.
Our Men’s First Team recorded two comfortable victories whilst our Women’s First Team fell to a narrow defeat, despite a valiant display against a strong Worcester Wolves side.
Read all about the best of the action below with our comprehensive match reports – starting with our Sunday night Midlands Cup tie!
Match reports by Joe Boon.
Midlands Cup First Leg Match Report: City of Birmingham Rockets Men 71-51 Worcester Wolves
Our Men’s First Team won the first leg of the Midlands Cup against Worcester Wolves in convincing fashion and will now take a 20-point lead into the second leg at University Arena Worcester this Friday after winning 71-51 at Nechells.
Worcester took their only lead of the night after scoring the opening two points of the game before we imposed ourselves on the game early on, with Nathan Ramsdale-Owen a key figure in our strong start with his three-point shooting helping drive the side forward.
We opened up an 11-3 lead midway through the first, with Rockets moving the ball around well and looking really impressive.
A late flurry from Worcester saw them close the gap after we had threatened to pull away, with our lead cut down to five points at quarters end, with the score standing at 19-14.
The second quarter saw the Rockets start strongly once again, with Nathan Ramsdale-Owen continuing to be really effective from three-point range.
On the defensive end, Luke Okosieme’s blocks and stellar defensive work helped keep Worcester from launching a comeback.
We went in at half time leading 36-23 after another productive period of play.
The third quarter saw Rockets have a lot of success with fast breaks as Worcester chased the game.
Ronald Oberia impressed with a strong performance, top scoring for Rockets with fourteen, with his explosive play helping us maintain our lead.
The third quarter ended 56-36, as Rockets approached the final quarter looking to see the game out and take the biggest possible point margin into the second leg in Worcester.
The fourth quarter saw our side maintain possession and look to slowly build our increasingly substantial lead with strong showings on both ends of the court.
The game finished 71-51, ensuring we took a 20-point differential into the second fixture.
We travel to Worcester for the second leg on Friday 23rd September where we will be looking to clinch the inaugural Midlands Cup.
Match Report: City of Birmingham Rockets Women 53-59 Worcester Wolves
Rockets Women’s First Team suffered a narrow defeat to Worcester Wolves in their latest pre-season friendly, losing out 59-53 at Nechells Wellbeing Centre.
Rockets Head Coach Ryan Emery is no stranger to the Wolves organization, leading their women’s programme into NBL Division One during his seven-year association with the club before parting ways during the summer.
The game saw both sides showcase their quality with neither able to pull away and build a convincing lead.
Michelle Turner’s three-point shooting certainly helped Ryan Emery’s side edge the opening quarter as we entered the first break 12-11 to the good.
Rockets were keeping Wolves at arm’s length, an admirable feat against a side from the division above.
The second quarter continued the trend of both teams looking to take advantage from beyond the arc.
Wolves started to pick up the pace in the second, slowly beginning to impose themselves on proceedings.
They managed to turn the tide and went into half time leading by eight, with the score at 29-21 after some contentious calls with the scores tied at 20-20 seemingly propelling them to a late quarter surge.
Despite Worcester coming out strong in the third, Rockets fought back with Michelle Turner leading the charge; her three-point shooting ability was vital in trying to close the gap.
Rockets were firing as they reduced the deficit to just two points with one minute remaining in the quarter.
A three-point Wolves buzzer beater gave our visitors some breathing room as the quarter ended 45-41 to Wolves.
A tense final quarter saw Rockets chase the game as we looked to launch a comeback, but it wasn’t to be with the game ending 59-53 in Wolves’ favour.
It was an impressive performance against a Worcester side in the league above and it will give Coach Emery and his side a solid platform to build on as we edge ever closer to the start of the season.
Match Report: City of Birmingham Rockets Men 93-48 Warwickshire Hawks
Rockets’ Men’s First Team won their opening preseason game against Warwickshire Hawks by way of a comfortable 93-48 score line at Nechells.
Despite a slow start to the game, Nathan Ramsdale-Owen and new addition Luke Okosieme impressed as they linked up to help turn the tide and finish the first quarter with a five-point lead, 17-12.
Captain Michael Gayle was really effective in both offense and defence as he forced Hawks turnovers and picked up multiple steals.
Rockets increased their lead to 11 points as they finished the first half up 39-28.
Rockets started the third quarter well as we looked to increase our lead and build on the early momentum.
We looked strong defensively after the break, limiting Hawks to only 7 points in the third quarter whilst scoring 22 points.
The fourth quarter saw Rockets in prolific scoring form as we found our offensive rhythm. Ramsdale- Owen and Kayne King scoring from behind the three-point line, whilst Luke Okosieme was a consistent threat to the Hawks.
This quarter’s defensive highlights came with a huge block from Martyn Gayle and a steal from Ronald Oberia who then went on to add to the Rockets lead.
Rockets further increased their lead to win the game in convincing fashion, as the game ended 93-48.
In a dominant display in which Rockets showed their quality, the fixture was a productive test for our Men’s First Team in the lead up to the season.
This game provided a great opportunity for some of the new additions to settle into the team and the style, with really impressive performances across the board!
Come and support the Rockets next season – our season ticket offers fantastic value and ensures that your seat is secured for every Rockets home game at Nechells Wellbeing Centre next season – CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE!