Solent Stars 2004/05 Season - 2nd Team

Back row: Paul Loosemore, James Chubb, Andrew Aung, Jon Rumsey, Ian Manley, Clayton Milner, Ian Crabb
Front row: Mick Byrne, Liam Openshaw, Craig Dawson, Ryan Payne, Liam Wyatt, Dave McKay

Any history of the club would not be complete without a reference to the first season of a second men's team in the National League Division Three (East).

Under coach Mick Byrne, with the help of manager Ian Crabb, the team won its league in an impressive way and entered the Play-Offs as one of the top seeds.

The quarter final was against a home tie against East Kent Crusaders who Solent had beaten twice in closely fought matches in the league programme. The Solent team looked jittery in the initial stages as Dave McKay and Clayton Milner squandered free throw chances. In an exciting climax to the first quarter Crusaders went ahead only for Craig Dawson to level the scores on the buzzer. Most of the next quarter was tit for tat thanks to Andy Aung and Milner providing the Solent points. East Kent again briefly took the lead before Jon Rumsey sent Solent ahead again and Trevor Donaldson landed consecutive three pointers to open up a gap that Solent were never to relinquish. An unselfish pass from newcomer James Chubb that set up Paul Loosemore for Solent's final score in their 94 - 71 (McKay 25) win.

The home semi-final provided new opponents for Solent in the form of Aston Athletics. Solent produced some outstanding defence to reduce the visitors to just two field baskets in the opening quarter. It had been nearly two minutes before Solent themselves had been able to score, but then Ryan Payne, Dave Mckay, Andy Aung and Clayton Milner got amongst the points. Joel Freeland and Liam Openshaw from the Solent Under 18 squad gave valuable contributions although Freeland picked up three quick fouls. When the game became more physical, tempers grew and both teams were charged with technical fouls. During this period the cool, experienced head of Solent captain, Jon Rumsey, proved invaluable. Solent eventually reached the National Play-Off finals with this comfortable 90 - 72 (McKay 23) victory.

The final, at Reading's Rivermede Leisure Centre was against Derby Trailblazers. It proved to be a fitting tribute to the English game as both teams played with no quarter given. Derby's early advantage of eleven points at the end of the first quarter was cancelled out when Solent went in one point ahead at half time. Derby regained a five point lead going into the final quarter. Solent again took the lead through Joel Freeland but then missed several opportunities as Derby began to close in on Solent's lead and with just 25 seconds left in the final quarter, the scores were tied at 68 all and Solent, who had possession of the ball, called a time-out. Whether it was nerves, or the effect of 40 minutes high-pressure basketball, Ryan Payne's pass was intercepted and as a Derby player broke with the ball for the basket, Andy Aung was harshly charged for a foul. With one second remaining the Derby player coolly sank the two shots to give Derby the Third Division Championship with a 68 - 70 win.

A time out during the playoffs final

Awaiting the medals after the final

The team had enjoyed a very successful season in the best tradition of the Solent Stars Basketball Club.

Jon Rumsey (captain) Dave McKay, Ryan Payne, Andy Aung, Clayton Milner, Trevor Donaldson, Joel Freeland, Liam Wyatt, Craig Dawson, Paul Loosemore, Liam Openshaw, Ian Chambers, Ian Manley, Chris Glover, David Mead, Karl Moyse, Mike Peel, Lawrence Rowe, James Chubb, Carl Duke

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