Coach hails ‘outstanding’ defence as Bears show their Steel

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Ben Haigh contests the tip-off against the Steelers.

WARWICKSHIRE Bears coach Tom Masterson hailed his team’s “outstanding” defence following a 48-31 victory over Sheffield Steelers on Sunday.

It was something of a revenge mission for the Bears, who lost to the Steelers earlier this season.

Bears’ tight defence restricted the Steelers to just 31 points this time around and Masterson said: “That was a good win against a very strong Steelers team who have a lot of good players in their team. Our defence was outstanding. To hold a team as good as Steelers to only 31 points shows that. ”

From the tip off, the Bears came out determined and, with Dan Gill on top form, took an early lead but a strong Steelers came fighting back, with Bears leading 8-6.

The second quarter again was a close contest, with both teams’ defence coming out on top making the game a low-scoring event, but the Bears were able to build on their slight lead, going into the half-time break 19-14 ahead.

Warwickshire put Sheffield under pressure in the third, with their strong defence and with Ben Haigh dominating the Bears’ rebounding, it gave the team the opportunity to pull further in front, 35-22.

A strong fourth quarter saw the Bears ease to a comfortable 48-31 success.

Meanwhile, in the first game of the day, Bears 2 went down to a 39-27 defeat to National League Second Division South leaders Blackhawks.

Blackhawks had comfortably beaten the Bears in their earlier encounter of the season and although they lost again in this home fixture, the game took a far tighter form.

“Whilst disappointed to lose, I’m happy with how well we played compared to the last game,” said coach, Derek Hall.

“I can definitely see improvements in the team and they did fantastic seeing as we were missing some key players.”

Jacob Robinson shoots from free throw line.

The Bears 3 followed the Bears 2 when they faced the Steelers 4 team in a National League Third Division South and West match.

Although they produced a spirited performance, the Bears were unable to hold a strong Steelers team who emerged as comfortable 59-30 winners.

Bears’ coach, Jacob Robinson, said: “Despite taking a loss, Bears 3 have continued to show the determination and team work that we have seen time and time again in this league.

“It is also heartening to see new player Ellan Fraser grow and develop so rapidly in game scenarios. It’s hard not to be proud of them.”

Warwickshire Bears are again in action when their women’s team travel to Nottingham for the second round of the BWB Women’s League on 10th/11th February.