Remarkable recovery saves Derbyshire Arrows from relegation

Star player Joseph Baugh, who led Arrows' superb performance.
Star player Joseph Baugh, who led Arrows' superb performance.

Staring into the relegation abyss, DCE Derbyshire Arrows produced a gutsy recovery to beat Sussex Bears in a must-win match near the foot of Division Two in the National Men’s Basketball League.

Arrows looked doomed when trailing their fifth-placed visitors 29-13 at the end of the first quarter in front of a packed Dronfield Sports Centre.

But they won a remarkable second quarter 30-9 to surge into a 43-38 lead and after a deadlocked third quarter that finished 18-18, the Derbyshire side held their nerve to triumph 85-77.

The win lifted them two places off the bottom of the table with one match to go, away to second-placed Westminster Warriors on Saturday.

Delighted head coach Jonny Kelly was gushing in his praise for the character of his team. He said: “Things looked bad in the first quarter but when I looked into the players’ eyes, I could see a steely determination to rescue the situation.

“The quality and grit we showed gave our supporters a real day to remember.”

Star man Joseph Baugh scored 33 points, with Callam McKenzie bagging 14, George Brownell ten and Matt Wilson also ten, despite playing with a heavy ankle-injury.

Baugh dedicated the win to Arrows’ founders Peter and Melanie Kelly and said: “The Arrows mean a lot to me, and these people deserve to experience days like this. I was determined to deliver, and I was true to my word.”