The Senior First team welcomed newly-promoted Leopards to Skyliner Sports Centre in the opening fixture of the Suffolk Senior League Division 1 season, in a fixture sponsored by Gascoynes Accountants.
In a superb defensive performance, the side held Leopards to just 33 points, and four single-digit quarters, en route to a 59-33 win to open the season.
Bulldogs started brightly, running out to a 20-9 lead after the first, as Lewis Tebbit, Jimmy Steedman and Seb Benford harassed the visitors on the perimeter, while Jason Sykes and Adam Maddison patrolled the paint. The Bulldogs defence went up another gear in the second quarter, as they held the guests to just seven points, with youngsters Oli Cowling and Patrick Laycock pressuring the opposing ball-handlers, and veteran forward Jack Teagle swatting away four shots in the quarter, giving them a 38-16 halftime lead. The Bulldogs continued their defensive dominance in the second half, en route to a 59-33 win.
Jason Sykes earned player of the game honours, with 26 points to lead all scorers, while Lewis Tebbit chipped-in with 16 points.
Coach Arron MacDonald said “They always say the mark of a good defensive team is single digit quarters, and with us holding Leopards to single digits in every quarter today, that really set the foundation for us to go on and win the game. Offensively, it wasn't the sort of performance we're used to - but the players were disciplined and we got the looks we wanted, the ball just didn't fall the way we'd have liked! The result was the main thing today for us though.”
"It's tough coming into a game with literally half of the squad unavailable." said Coach MacDonald, "Between holidays, national league games, illness and injury, we've lost seven players. Additionally, we've had the three players from County Upper Academy inform us that they're no longer available for us - and I'm really yet to hear any good reason as to why that's happened."
"The good news is that we might have some reinforcements on the way, and even without any new signings, tonight further demonstrates that we have some really talented, hard-working young players who stand to benefit from more playing time. Equally welcome is the opportunity to get back on the court next weekend for a training session, where we'll get to focus on some of the things we need to improve on."
Up next for the first team is a trip to the reigning league and playoff champions, Brightlingsea Sledgehammers on November 6th.