Manchester Mystics

Mystics U14 big road win at Leeds

The Mystics Under 14s headed to white rose rivals Leeds Force on Sunday and came home with a 95 – 24, victory.

The notion that some of our parents were apprehensive about having to travel up the hill across the border to Yorkshire due to a dodgy weather forecast which predicted wet stuff falling from on high must have been transmitted to our kit because it decided not to arrive until the last minute itself! In the event, we were hindered by precipitation from above but rather than rain or snow, it took the form of an incessant drip (not Michael Gove or Boris Johnson this time) from the sports hall ceiling. This meant we had to move from a spacious full court setting to a more cramped side court which was like going from the Sahara Desert to Blackpool Beach and did not suit our running style of basketball.

To say that we started poorly would be as much of an understatement as calling Donald Trump quite worrying! Having won the home leg of this fixture by about 90, I decided to mix up two fives for the first quarter and split the time between them. The problem with plans is that they have a female side which means they often change their mind! We began as if we were trying to make a sequel to the classic film, Sleepless in Seattle with our very own Fast Asleep in Leeds! During the first 3 minutes, I’ve seen more life in anaesthetic! A fully awake Leeds Force took advantage and pounced to take a commanding 0-2 lead. As one of their girls flew to basket, I thought maybe we weren’t playing the Leeds Force but the Air Force!

Our start had made me take on the characteristics of 1 of the 7 dwarfs and I don’t mean Happy! Being a grumpy old man, I whisked the 5 mixed starters off earlier than intended and replaced them with a new 5 who all seemed fully conscious. They transformed me into Happy by running in 17 unanswered points in next to no time – however long that is!- thanks to foregoing our unproductive over dribbling into the corner with highly productive straightforward ball and player movement. Convinced that the 5 on the bench were now alive and kicking, I granted them a reprieve to even up the first quarter minutes and the responded well at the defensive end. 

I tweeted the combinations during the second quarter and everyone performed to their usual high level at both ends from this point on. The opposition tried really hard to stem the flow but to no avail. Despite their efforts, they were like a student who hadn’t revised for an exam. They had no answers! We shared the ball and court time generously to score 95 points without the hint of a demoralising press which is as unnecessary as Dutch people buying climbing boots! The game was refereed superbly, was played in excellent spirit and seemed to be enjoyed by all. Spectators from both sides got fully behind the players, providing lots of encouragement with no hint of negativity and our victory moves us ever closer to our goal of play-off qualification which would become nearly certain with a win at Leicester Warriors on Sunday. (Let’s hope Attila the Hun won’t be playing for them!) If we can then go on to defeat Sheffield Hatters (who are all mad!)(Not really!), that would be enough to ensure it with 4 further games to still be played.

Many thanks to my major helpers, James and Sammy as well as to our intrepid band of parents who all escaped back into God’s own county unscathed.

Jim Carnegie