UNIVERSITY OF YORK FIRSTS 44 vs. LEEDS MET CARNEGIE SECONDS 77
BUCS Northern Conference 3B, Wednesday 3rd December 2008
A valiant effort by the York University basketball first team wasn’t enough as they eventually lost out to their Leeds Met counterparts. The final score probably flattered Leeds, even though they were well worth their victory. York gave a much better account of themselves than they did earlier in the season against today’s opponents, when they were completely outplayed. This result is a slight hiccup on what has been a very successful recent run for the firsts.
Both teams braved the sub zero temperatures in the hall to fight out an entertaining match. Leeds won the tip-off and immediately made an impact, scoring 2 points but York quickly replied with a well worked play which Brendan Moran finished. The quarter continued as it started, going tit-for-tat. Captain Ronan Joyce stood out early on, making a couple of key interceptions and scoring a couple too. The game started to take a regular shape with York holding lots of possession around the Leeds basket but unable to make a breakthrough, and this allowed Leeds to break on the counter.
Leeds began to develop a lead as the half progressed and the last thing York needed was an injury to one of their key starters. But that is exactly what materialized when key man JP Niyangabo was taken out of the game with a suspected broken nose after a stray elbow hit him flush. York battled on but still found themselves down at the end of the quarter with Leeds scoring a debatable three pointer on the whistle.
The athletic Leeds side were playing with a very high intensity, pressing well and giving York no room for error. Their lofty number 14 centre playing especially well. York managed to reduce the deficit from 17 to 11 points by the end of the half through some good defense and an exquisite long-range bomber from well outside the three-point line by Dane Vishnubalu.
The second half of the game was where table toppers Leeds stretched out their lead. With York making errors in possession, Leeds put the game beyond doubt by the end of the third quarter. But the spirited York side didn’t give up and fought on right till the end. Leeds kept on asserting their dominance, though, and ran out winners by a margin of 33 points at the hooter.
Skipper Ronan Joyce praised his team after the match stating: “We kept on fighting and kept the match competitive throughout, even though we lost one of our starters (JP Niyangabo)”. There wasn’t too much disappointment in the York camp after match as the team knew what was to be expected of the highly rated Leeds Met team, with Joyce explaining that “this was always going to be a tough match against tough opponents.”
With a match against the old enemy, York St. Johns, next up for the firsts, “Second or at least third (in the league)” is still the aim for this very capable team.
York team: D. Vishnubala, R. Joyce (c), M. Johansson, D. Ekren, D. Nalton, K. NG, K. Cheng, JP. Niyangabo, R. Kazmierowicz, B. Moran.