On the evening of Friday, 10th April, the Richmond Knights Senior Men booked their place in the Surrey Mens Cup Final. Matching up against one of the Premier divisions top teams, Sutton Storm, the Knights had created a 6pt lead by half-time behind a 19pt first half from Andrew Wallace (27pts total).
The travelling Knights fans were small in numbers but loud in voice and the team were giving them plenty to cheer about. Jake Thomas, who travelled with the team despite a season-ending knee injury, struggled to keep up with the action as he tweeted live from the bench (@CoachJakeRKBC) in a desperate attempt to increase his number of followers in to double figures.
Storm hit back in the third quarter, utilising their considerable size advantage in the paint at both ends of the court and forcing a 4pt lead by the end of Q3.
The two teams traded baskets throughout the 4th quarter until, with just over a minute left on the clock, Greg Luckos, putting his body on the line as he does in every game, went down under the basket after a heavy hit. Isaac Omirin (15pts including 9pts from behind the arc) had the vision to find Andrew Wallace who had created space on the wing. The ice-cool Andrew pulled the trigger on a 3-pointer – his fifth of the night! – that shot Knights back in to the lead for the first time in the entire 4th quarter. Knights had to withstand two more offences from Storm, but intense defence – personified by Holger Marsen and Adam Farrell shutting down the Storm’s inside threat – prevented any further points from Rockets and ensured the Knights have a shot at lifting the trophy in May’s cup final. Coach James Merchant joined in the on-court celebrations and afterwards, when asked about the MVP award once again being awarded to fans’ favourite Rhythm Bedi, replied “I can’t argue with that.”
This first ever season for a Richmond Knights Men’s team has seen them lose only 1 game in the league all year. In every round of the cup the team have had to play away from home against opposition from the league above (Surrey Premier) and every time the underdogs have risen to the challenge. However, the Cup Final will be the team’s toughest challenge yet, playing the Premier League leaders and multiple league and cup winners, Kingston. We will need support from as many Knights as possible so clear your diaries and head down to Chessington Sports Centre on Sunday, 17th May (2pm tip-off TBC).