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.”