THE SHOWDOWN between York men’s 1s and Sunderland 1s began frantically, with three baskets being slotted away in the first 30 seconds. Sunderland struck twice to take control very early on, playing free-flowing, incisive basketball. York endeavoured to keep pace with Sunderland and shake off their dominance, which eventually proved fruitful.
York proved themselves worthy adversaries by taking charge and landing four unanswered baskets. They were able to get under the skin of Sunderland and this would prove very important later on in the match. A long-range three pointer seconds before the buzzer emphasised York’s resurgence; and left them leading at the end of the first quarter.
Sunderland returned from the short break determined to recover the foothold they had forged early in the first quarter, but York held fast, their defence standing resolutely against some intense Sunderland pressure to retain their lead.
The match remained even throughout the second quarter, until a late flurry of points gave York a 20 point lead at the halfway mark. The third quarter had the least action of the four quarters, with neither team willing to take a risk in fear of jeopardising their position. The first free-throw of the match went to Sunderland, which they converted. This kick-started a mini revival with Sunderland cutting York’s lead down to 16 points. The third quarter ended with York leading 57-41, leaving Sunderland with it all to do in the final quarter.
Under pressure, Sunderland made some early defensive mistakes. Despite this, they managed to cut York’s lead to 60-49 with just five minutes left to the game. From then on it was very much a blow-for-blow encounter, the score difference remaining the same throughout. York were able to hold on for the win thanks to their continued resilience, coupled with some late spurned Sunderland chances, leaving the score at 72-62 when the final buzzer sounded.