Bears savour Shield success

18/04 Updated: 18/04 15:15

Tile Hill (2) 99 Warwick Bears 132

BEARS lifted the Warwickshire Inter-Divisional Shield by overcoming Premier Division Tile Hill in the final.

Bears were handed a 55-50 handicap advantage which they gradually increased thanks to the efforts of Ashley Dawson who hit 25 points and Ben Linnett 24.

Dawson signalled his intent by scoring the opening basket, while talented young point guard Sam Crawford was on target and Linnett netted two long-range efforts to put Bears 70-59 ahead at the end of the first period.

Joe Hewison and Crawford continued to form the guard partnership at the start of the second period, while captain Ricky Kular rejoined the game at the centre of the defence.

Linnett hit a long range three point basket as Warwick looked to increase the pace of the game by breaking the Tile Hill press.

Crawford was fouled on the Bears next offence and hit his shots from the line, while a burst of scoring from Linnett, Ashley Dawson and Trevor Wellsted put Bears in control.

Tile Hill hit back which forced coach Ian A'Kempis to call a time-out and change his offence. It had the desired effect as Dawson and Linnett were back on the mark and Bears led 91-70 at half time.

Kular opened the account at the start of the third period, while Dawson and Linnett continued to pose a threat as Bears marched 111-82 ahead going into the final period.

There was no way back for Tile Hill and Bears ran out comfortable winners with Dawson and Linnett sharing the man of the match accolade.

Mike Maddox, the chairman of Warwickshire Basketball Association, presented the trophy to Bears captain Ricky Kular and Aylesford Basketball Club chairman John Mumford spoke of his pride at seeing the young team, under the leadership of coach Ian A’Kempis, triumph.

Mumford said: " The club has been in action for 44 years and it has been another excellent season with this success adding to Aylesford Hawks winning the Warwickshire Premier Handicap Cup."

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