NBL D4 Playoff First Round

Photo courtesy of Julia Summers (JS Sport Photography).

National League Division Four South West champions Swindon Shock overcame Barking Abbey in the first of their play-off clashes to reach the quarter-finals.

Shock were hosting their first Men’s National game since joining fours years ago, with head coach David Colclough admitting he was unsure what to expect.

“None of us knew what to expect,” he said.

“We made the play-offs two years ago but we had to travel to Myerscough and the results were horrific, we just couldn’t get our legs going after that journey.”

The day did not start out to plan for Shock as the visitors roared to a 27-14 first-quarter lead.

The second quarter saw guard Dominik Sajovic come off the bench with three timely steals to keep Shock in the game, before he suffered a dislocated finger.

Shock were only able to make small inroads into Barking Abbey’s lead in the second quarter but the second half of the contest was a different story.

The home side took the third quarter 17-6 leaving Barking Abbey with the narrowest of leads going into the final quarter.

Steals and quick points by Lee Hobbis sealed the fate of the game, ultimately handing Shock their biggest comeback win and first National play-off win 61-55.

“I am so proud of the way these guys fought,” Colclough said.

“I had guys like Alistair Tilney getting his first start in sometime and, even though he didn’t score much on the court, he was on the bench screaming and losing his voice.

“Even young guard Ollie Swann who played limited minutes provided an opportunity for me to talk to shooting guard Chris Cole and settle him down after being away with his military duties.

“He then goes into the game and hits a couple of three-pointers, so it just worked out really well for us.”