LANCASTER’S VICTORY over York in the Men’s basketball firsts was confirmed by a presentation of the trophy by former Manchester United and England right-back
Gary Neville. York gave chase for a comeback but ultimately ran out of steam. The close scoreline did not tell the full story of the game, however, as York valiantly battled back after initially being second best.
The first quarter got off to a very slow start with both teams playing relatively conservatively, as they attempted to gauge their opponent’s potential. The early stages saw Lancaster gain the upper hand as they led 9-4 mid-way through the first quarter. This slow start continued throughout the first quarter as York trailed by eight points. The home team was spurred on by a large home crowd who made their presence known consistently during the match.
As the second quarter got underway, York’s offensive woes continued as Lancaster’s defence held strong, unable to get anything going from the three-point line or inside the paint. Lancaster were playing with clinical precision throughout the quarter, converting most of their chances. Meanwhile, York not only failed to get shots off but also failed to convert those that they did have.
The second quarter also featured the moment of the game. After sloppy play on the counter by York, turning over the ball to Lancaster, there was an open court for the Lancaster player to run into. The crowd screamed with anticipation for what looked like an uncontested lay-up. However, out of nowhere, Soji Sonibare blocked the shot as the Lancaster crowd was utterly silenced.
The third quarter was similar to the second, with York struggling to claw back any kind of advantage or gain any real momentum as Lancaster were very quick to react to any baskets made by York. The game nearly had a thrilling comeback to rival that of last year’s opening ceremony, with York attempting to overturn a 12-point deficit against their opponents. Unfortunately, they fell just short, only managing to reduce the deficit to three points. However, almost straight away Lancaster regained their superior advantage, hitting two lay-ups to give them some breathing space heading into the final few minutes. York responded with a three-pointer immediately, in what seemed to set up an excellent finish to the game. The game somewhat fizzled out however, with Lancaster controlling the clock well. In the end the result looked a lot more comfortable than reality, with Lancaster padding out their score with free-throws as York committed fouled in order to stop the clock.
Whilst it was a defeat, the York team can certainly take positives from the game given that Lancaster are currently three divisions above their York counterparts. York take part in the Northern 3B, whereas Lancaster take part in the Northern 2A division. This significant difference in divisions was not noticeable in the performance nor the final scoreline.
When asked about how he found the match, Gary Neville replied, “I really enjoyed it. It was really exciting, very end-to-end and different to football. I was surprised by the competitiveness of the match. You could see however, that they wanted revenge for last year’s game.”
Neville’s visit comes after a project was approved in January earlier this year for a partnership with Lancaster University, and Neville along with the rest of the Class of ’92 members, to open a campus in Salford, planning to offer “broader courses than traditional degrees, designed to enhance life skills as well as employability.
See below Neville’s tweet about the match: