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NWBA D1: Wrexham Warriors 67 Brewers 63

26th April, 2024 | News | 0 comments

To choose one word to sum up the Brewers 2023/24 season – ‘shock probably captures it best. But on their road trip to Wrexham it was the Brewers on the receiving end as the embattled Warriors claimed their first D1 win in their final game of the campaign.

Brewers, to be fair, did not head into the game complacent. Despite their record, the Warriors are a tough, experienced and gritty team to play and over the years they built one of the NWBA’s most captivating rivalries with Adam Lloyd’s men.

Despite their preparation however the Brewers, as they have in recent games, started slowly. Despite early efforts from eventual MVP Easaw George (21pts) and a handy three from Alex ‘AJ’ Jones, the Brewers trailed 22-16 at the end of the first.

There were signs that this might not be the Brewers night – the most profound being a buzzer beating half-court shot from Wrexham’s George Greenhaugh that stunned everyone in the Glyndwr University Sports Centre when it sank for three to end the opening stanza.

Lloyd, Nield Gillard and skipper Dave Thomas tried to increase the intensity but the Brewers found themselves stuck in first gear while the Raiders confidence grew with each possession.

In the second quarter the Brewers still didn’t quite up their game when they really needed to attack Wrexham. They ticked over and while Wrexham were only able to extend their lead by another two points, the Brewers were in trouble.

After 10 years the Brewers finally got their third quarter monkey off their back this season, flipping it from their junk quarter to their comeback quarter and so it proved here as they finally found some rhythm and applied pressure to the Warriors.

Driven by the retiurning Luke Sharland-Wong and Dave Thomas and supported by Marcin Fiedorowicz, Hubert Paluch and Jay Redbond, they rallied and won the third quarter to reduce the deficit to just two points.

This should have been where the Brewers kicked on but thanks to the graft of the warriors and the depth of the slump, they couldn’t quite muster the finish they needed to claim the win.

Wrexham matched them point-for-point in the end and even pressing in the final minutes couldn’t create enough offence for the Brewers to take the points. They fell four points short of victory as Wrexham celebrated a deserved win – while Lloyd faced getting his team to regroup for one last regular season clash with title-chasing Mold Magic 48 hours later.

“As always, credit to Wrexham for really earning that win,” said Lloyd. “Take nothing away from them, they turned up knowing they don’t have a playoff spot but they played with pride and energy and they fully deserved to win that game.

“We need to take a long look at what heppened from our side there. Yes Warriors played well but our defence is much better than we showed today. We’ve restricted most teams this season to fewer points than that but we seemed to lack energy and drive here and we need to think about why.

“We now have to refocus quickly because in a couple of days we have another tough game against Mold Magic. They are very focused on their league success and will not be taking this game lightly so we need to get this all out of our system and go back to playing our Brewers brand of basketball quickly if we want to have a chance in that game.”

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