The Bolton Bulls wheelchair basketball club provides wheelchair basketball to people of all ages, disabilities and gender from all over the North West of England including Bolton, Bury, Blackburn, Wigan and Stockport.
It was a high noon showdown for the Bolton Bulls season opener at Leeds Spiders and the team have trained well in the off season. Bolton Bulls has a number of new players this season alongside some familiar faces. The starting five on court were a mix of youth and experience with Dale Speight #33, Dan Craddock #12, Michael Galligan #8, Jim Heggie #15 and Darren Birch #4. Leeds Spiders won the tip with their #13 Jack Brown pulling the strings on the offensive end. However, Dale Speight scored the first basket for the Bulls with an early break; this was shortly followed with a basket from Dan Craddock. At the end of the 1st quarter, the Bolton Bulls were dazed and knew they had to get to work in order to combat the speed and agility of Leeds Spiders. Score was Leeds Spiders 20, Bolton Bulls 4.
For the 2nd quarter, the Bolton Bulls came out with one word ringing in their ears, ‘DEFENCE’ from player/coach Dan Craddock. This quarter was a much closer affair neither side giving the other an inch. However, a tough press from Leeds Spiders led to Bolton Bulls unfortunately conceding a few easy points. This quarter also saw the introduction of Graeme Lambert #35 and Steve Aston #7 into the game. End of quarter score, Leeds Spiders 36, Bolton Bulls 11.
The half time team talk appeared to have a positive effect on the team with the first basket of the 3rd quarter being dropped by Michael Galligan with a further basket from Dale Speight . It was a tough match and unfortunately the Bolton Bulls were unable to break through the efficient pressing game coming from Leeds Spiders. By the end of the 3RD quarter Leeds Spiders had an impressive lead of 53 points to Bolton Bulls 15.
Not to be downhearted Bolton Bulls shot into the 4th quarter with Samantha Titterington #5 making her debut appearance and were determined to show Leeds Spiders what tough defence is.
They played hard with baskets scored by Dale Speight, Graeme Lambert and Dan Craddock with a few fouls thrown in for good measure giving Leeds Spiders the opportunity for plenty of free throws. The Bolton Bulls continued this tough defensive strategy right up to the final whistle. Luck was not on our side and the final whistle blew with Leeds Spiders coming out on top with 73 points and Bolton Bulls sadly lagging with 21 points.
The return fixture is at Smithills Gym, Bolton on 1st November. Tip off 1.30pm and Bolton Bulls will be showing Leeds Spiders how it’s done on our home turf.
Bolton Bulls Man of the Match went to Dale Speight. The Bolton Bulls showed great fighting spirit and played to the club mantra of No Limits No Excuses.
Our next match is away at Manchester Mavericks on the 26th October and the team have a lot to work on between now and then. Let’s hope they can put this loss behind them and move onwards and upwards.