Warriors Tournament 2017
The Warriors Tournament was held at Aldershot Garrison Sports Centre on Sunday 30th April. The Tournament is run by the Army in the run up to the Inter services tournament the following weekend. The Tournament is a three way competition between the Army, Wessex representative squads and a third invited squad in seniors men, ladies and under 23 categories.
This year Woking Blackhawks were asked to provide an under 23 squad, coached by Costas Rakitzis, to represent Wessex and The Flyers were asked to enter in their own right as the third squad in the Senor men group.
The first game was between the Blackhawks Under 23’s and the Army. The army took an early lead that was maintained until the half when the Army had a double-digit advantage. The Blackhawks squad held their composure and under the guidance of coach Costas slowly regained the advantage to turn over the lead and eventually secure a 16 point win 49:33.
The under 23’s second game was more challenging against Thames Valley Cavaliers whose squad mainly comprised their National League Division 3 team. Thames Valley quickly established an advantage that was maintained throughout the game and despite a valiant effort by the squad the Cavaliers finished 85:58 winners. The cavalier subsequently beat the Army to win the Under 23 Warriors trophy
In the Senior men’s tournament, South Bucks Comets who were to represent Wessex withdrew at the last moment which resulted in the Army and Flyers playing two games against each other.
Coach Knode had anticipated that several of his key players were not going to be available for the tournament and had invited some senior players from Thames Valley Cavaliers, Martelle McLemore, Luke Sanders, Ben Clarke & ex Flyer T.J Amu to bolster his squad. The result was a highly competitive squad that challenged the Army.
The first encounter between the squads resulted in a 37 point victory for the Flyers 78:41 with the Army unable to contain and respond to the intensity of the Flyers. The second game was completely different with the Army coming out revitalised with a game plan that contained the Flyers and established a 2 point lead by the half.
The final two quarters were fought in a hard but competitive manner with the Flyers regaining the advantage which resulted in a second win and victory in the Tournament. Martelle McLemore was deservedly awarded man of the match for his controlled domineering performance
Thanks to the Army for organising the Tournament, with good fortune against the RAF and Navy next weekend in the Inter-services Tournament