By Nikos Silikas
This was a rather uneventful game. A midweek excursion to a foggy north Manchester proved, rather expectedly, unappealing and tiresome. There was no energy from the team that did just enough to win this game despite being stuck on the 2nd gear for most of it.
The first quarter was surprisingly open and high scoring mainly due to the inadequacies of defences rather than the brilliance of offences. It finished 21-16 to Oldham and proved to be the highlight in offence from both teams. Oldham started with 3/3 3-pointers and had 4 in the quarter which ended up being their total for the game as well. Stockport responded with 2 3-pointers from the Captain –scoring 3’s since 1985-, but a last minute 8-0 run from Oldham meant that finished the quarter leading by 21-16.
Stockport decided to play some form of defence in the second quarter and kept Oldham to just 6 points. However, we could only score 10 so Oldham had a slim lead of 27-26 at half-time.
In the second half there was a rare event. A guest star appearance by Mr Oldham-Basketball, Sir Jon Alston, who watched the game as part of the Stockport bench. That should have triggered an automatic surrender by Oldham accepting the superiority of Stockport’s bench, now featuring Jon. They seemed to ignore that so we decided to keep them at 6 points in the quarter and to demonstrate how appalled we were we kept passing the ball to them refusing to take any shots! For good measure, we finished the quarter with a 6-0 run to reach the supreme total of 8 in the quarter and to take the lead with 34-33.
This should have set up the scene for a dramatic fourth quarter but nothing went according to expectations in this game. A demoralized Oldham just about managed to score 7 in the quarter. Stockport had one of their better spells and with an exhilarating 9-2 run they were leading by 45-39 with two minutes to go. This looked, and it was an unassailable difference, and inevitably Stockport won by 48-40.
Once more, the unstoppable and unmovable Neil Siddall led the scoring with 15 points followed Paul Brooks with 9 points who was inspirational in leading the defence and scoring key baskets. Despite a low scoring game, scoring was well spread with 8 players from Stockport scoring. They had 13/20= 65% in free-throws.
The team had a much needed stop for pint and crisps on the way back analyzing the game’s highlights. That took them just over 2 minutes so the rest of the time was devoted to real issues like champions league results and when the next curry will be..