West Craven Turbines hold on for narrow victory

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WEST Craven Turbines ended the year with a 62-58 win over Chorley Cougars in the Hyndburn League.

West Craven were favourites to win this tie as they took the points from the last meeting 82-58, however, Chorley had very much improved.

Turbines had two familiar players on the teamsheet as Oliver Hylands returned from Division 1 National League duty with Bradford Dragons and Phil Smith was back from the University of Northumbria for Christmas.

The Turbines started with regulars Marshall, Ireton, Robinson, Capps and the returning Hylands, and the bench provided opportunities for Widdup, Dawson and Smith.

The scoring began with veteran Renko Ireton going to the basket on the first offense as Turbines went 6-0 up before Chorley managed to score.

But Chorley began to score from good transition, with players keen to get on the break. The first quarter saw Turbines and Cougars level at 14-14.

The second quarter saw West Craven change defence to a 2-3 zone rather than a 3-2 zone. Some good points came from guard Capps going to the hoop, and also Smith distributing the ball around a well-worked offense, gaining him a good lane to the basket for what was the play of the game. The half time score was 33-26 to Turbines.

As the third began, the Cougars fought back, and play became end to end as Turbines forward Hylands and Marshall put up some great points and gaining some strong rebounds which saw Cougars struggle to keep them out of the danger zone.

The last quarter started slowly but the offense began to show signs of scoring from both ends. Marshall added to the scoring with some well-executed moves to the basket and Widdup earned some good offensive rebounds.

Chorley had to shoot an array of three-point shots that saw them chase the Turbines in a nail-biting finish, with the locals just having the edge.