Tomcats in stunning victory

Ipswich Tomcats' may yet have something to fight for this season after their turnaround in form continued in spectacular fashion against high-flyers West London.

Men's Under-18 South East Premier League

Ipswich Tomcats 105 West London 93

Ipswich Tomcats' may yet have something to fight for this season after their turnaround in form continued in spectacular fashion against high-flyers West London.

The Tomcats started the season with just one win from six matches, however, following the addition of England Under-16 international Josh Johnson over the winter break, the Tomcats have won their last two games, three including a friendly victory.

West London arrived at Westbourne Sports College top-of-the-table and with just one defeat to their name, but met a rejuvenated Ipswich side in awesome form.

With just a point between the sides going into the final quarter, Ipswich produced a pulsating final period to dislodge their opponents from top spot and haul themselves to within a point of Hackney White Heat.

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Head Coach Nick Drane said: “That was probably the best I have ever seen us play. Josh (Johnson) has been phenomenal since his arrival. His signing had proved what I have said all along, that we were just one exceptional player away from being a great side.”

It was Johnson that gave his side the lead after a cagey opening seven minutes, the point guard's points heralding the start of 12-4 spell in Ipswich's favour.

First quarter: Ipswich 30 West London 20.

The rattled visitors started a fight back at the beginning of the second quarter, but the Tomcats were on a roll and matching the London side point for point.

There were some wonderful solo efforts and some graceful teamwork, a blend of styles that hasn't graced the Westbourne court for a long time.

Half time: Ipswich 61 West London 46.

The second half began with end-to-end action and, just over five minutes in, the influential Leigh Greenan received his fourth foul and was substituted.

West London duly upped their game and reduced the deficit to four points game, then two before, on the buzzer, two from the free throw line saw the visitors take a slender one point lead.

Third quarter: Ipswich 78 West London 79.

Ipswich then produced a display that fans had got used to last season as the large crowd willed the ball into the net at every attack.

Greenan was back on and controlled his game well not to receive the final foul call. By sheer hard work and effort in the face of strong opposition, the Tomcats regained their to run out winners.

Full time: Ipswich 105 West London 93.

Drane said: “Whether it is too late for us to make a bid for the play-offs I don't know. We probably need to win six of the last seven, but I think, with the way we are playing, we stand a chance.”

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