This year’s GB Masters tournament took place in Manchester, Tynemet Timebombs were based at the National Basketball Centre where all four of our games would take place.
The Master’s tournament consisted of 63 teams and over 600 players registered including ladies over 35 and over 40.Men over 60 over 50 and our age bracket (over 40) that had four groups of eight.
Our team consisted of myself Dave Mullen 'fows' Jon Paul Herron 'fows' Steve Chaney 'fows' Christos Varzokas 'fows' Gary Greenup 'Churchill' Garry Gowans 'nomads' and Dave "Buster" Merrifield of Whickham.
First game was Hull Hornets , a 9am tip.
We expected a tough game from the Hornets who had beaten us convincingly on two previous occasions.
Both teams started slowly only exchanging baskets briefly towards the end of the first quarter, and again in the second quarter, JP and Buster then started hitting shots and getting steals in to the second quarter and we were 10 up.
A bit of a comeback by the Hornets in the third quarter meant they got back to within two baskets as Gowans, Greenup and Chaney got on the scoresheet we held them to four points by the end of the quarter.
In the last quarter I had to walk as I had my maximum 4 fouls, then suddenly the Christos the Greek must have sweated out the amoretto from the previous night and started getting inside and scoring.
We finished the game winning 47 to 37 what is not a bad score as you play 6 minute quarters.
We had an hour break before the next game v Aberdeen who had just been beaten by Kingston 24 to 59.During the break we watched a game in the other pool of our group D, Dundee who we have played every year we have taken part in the masters and had some great "battles" with. They were playing Boroughmuir. Dundee only managed to score 6 points in the whole game but our would-be opponents in our 4th game Boroughmuir outscored them by 20 points.
In our 11 o'clock tip v Aberdeen (who had also beaten us on two occasions) they were big and picking up a lot of rebounds and the two officials who had reffed our first game were a bit more quick on the whistle this time and put our opponents on the line about 5 or 6 occasions, it ended tied at the end of the first 6 minutes.
Then into the next quarter they hit shots and pulled away a bit as we chased and didn't let them pull away too far but we kept chipping away and we were down by 4 going into the second half .
JP , Buster and Christos all started stealing the ball and the Scots started to tire.
We were up by 4 going into the final quarter running at Aberdeen with more steals and the Greek forcing himself inside again we finished the game victors 38 to 25.
We enjoyed a civilised meal in the evening in the city and visited a few pubs and headed back early as we didn't want to spoil the next day as we knew we had a chance to do well.
Our first game was at 11am v Kingston we never got out of the blocks against a good Kingston side who obviously played regularly together and who had a big 6ft 10 forward with a reach of stretch Armstrong .
We went into the 2nd quarter 13 points down .The Timebombs failed to score in the first and Kingston thought it was going to be a breeze.
But again we got ourselves composed and playing some good defence with Christos and Buster firing well. Pulling back to within 2 baskets by the end of the half we were really pleased and were in a good position to come away with a win.
Once again I was forced to sit down due to a quick succession of fouls early into the 3rd, we continued to trade points and held them to 6.
They kept hitting shot after shot and our flow seemed to stop.
We still kept on trying to chip away but just didn't have the legs to cope. The game finished 27 to 37 to Kingston.
The fourth and final game of the weekend saw us play Boroughmuir of Edinburgh.The game started with Greenup on two fouls in the first minute putting their big man on the line twice scoring all four. We caught up within another minute and kept trading points throughout the first quarter finishing even.
Into the second and their big man was pushing his 20 stone frame along the base line making baskets and getting fouled mainly from myself.
We started getting in front, being a bit more patient on offence but fouls were starting to stack up as the refs were quick on the whistle.
Pushing towards the end of the first half and we had a 6 point lead.
Into the 3rd quarter and again we had a quick succession of fouls with Greenup, Mullen and Buster on 3 fouls one of his was a T for not agreeing on a decision.
But we kept on going and some of the opposition started to tire.
Getting a couple of steals before the end of the quarter we were going into the final quarter 10 points up.
Feeling confident going into the last 6 minutes we held on to the ball and played some great D but with a couple of big shots from the Scots, they closed the gap to 4 points and Buster had to take to the bench with his 4th foul .We held on with some good holding play from our experienced players and finished the game as winners 37 to 33 and finishing 3rd in group D of the over 40s.
On the whole it was an excellent weekend with a decent result at a really well organised basketball tournament. It is the biggest in the country with players from all over the UK as well as the USA, all with different abilities. Ask anyone that has represented the tynemet in the last 6 years we have entered a team and they have all enjoyed it, both the basketball and the social side.
If you are hitting 40 next year or are already in that bracket then give it a go.
Next year it is on the weekend of the 9th and 10th of June and is set to be in Manchester again.
Thanks to all that have been involved and the Tynemet League for sponsoring us in the GB Masters over the last 6 years.
Thanks, Dave Mullen