Relieved Derbyshire Arrows cling on for vital victory

Joseph Baugh, who was top points scorer again for Derbyshire Arrows.
Joseph Baugh, who was top points scorer again for Derbyshire Arrows.

In a tense match from beginning to end, relieved DCE Derbyshire Arrows secured a dramatic victory over Greenwich Titans in the Second Division of the National Men’s Basketball League.

Arrows needed to beat the bottom-of-the table visitors to ease the pressure near the foot of the table after eight defeats in their previous 11 games.

But it was only in the closing minutes of a nervous final quarter that they sealed their 94-84 success. As they clung on to a four-point lead, Callam McKenzie, who had his most influential game for the club, killed off the match from the free throw-line with five of six attempts.

It took McKenzie’s tally of points for the game to 20, not far behind key man Joseph Baugh, who scored 29, and just in front of Semi Eboigbe, who scored 16.

Baugh scored the opening basket, and George Brownell and Schamek Malik were also on target in a hotly-contested opening quarter that ended 27-25 in Arrows’ favour.

Baugh and McKenzie combined repeatedly at the start of the second quarter as Arrows took the intitiative, and both James Cusack and Jabar Bika also had profitable spells as the hosts went 51-42 up.

Titans tried hard to rally in the third quarter, but Eboigbe and Baugh battled for everything to keep them at bay and extend Arrows’ advantage to 71-59.

Again, Titans refused to buckle, but the home side held on to move up to eighth in the 11-team table.