Scoring row mars derby loss as disciplined University of Manchester too good for Man Met
UoM run out 60-46 winners
Questions raised over scoring
Man Met losing streak continues
A lack of firepower at the basket and a row over scoring caused MMU’s Men’s 3rd team to slump to a disappointing derby defeat against University of Manchester, with UoM taking an early lead they never looked back from.
UoM were missing a key player and their captain, but it didn’t matter as some of their 3rd team seemed very capable. MMU were crushed on the glass and conceded a whopping 18 turnovers.
UoM were strong in the first quarter, hitting 2 big threes early, and playing stifling defence, racking up turnovers for the MMU side. It appeared to take MMU a while to get settled into their game, by which point they were facing a big deficit.
However, whilst UoM were winning the battle on the court, it appeared as though a separate war took place on the sideline.
There was an ongoing debate between the coach and the scorers’ desk, with confusion over the score and fouls in the game.
An irate MMU player spoke to me after the game and had plenty to say: “I don’t know how they had nine fouls in the entire game.”
MMU’s coach said later: “The scoring was wrong. Mentally it affects you differently seeing four points instead of 14. When you’re down four, six, eight, you can attack the basket freely, but when you see a fourteen eventually you just say there is no point.”
However, the win itself can’t be taken away from Man Met’s closest rivals, who led at the end of every quarter in this game and looked like the better and more prepared side on the day .
The UOM side warmed up beforehand in well-organised drills, whereas the MMU side arrived one at a time, rushing due to conflicting overlapping university lectures. The difference in preparation truly showed. MMU started cold and Uni of Manchester ran simple plays – and often the same plays - for most of the game. Despite several courageous efforts, MMU simply couldn’t stop them.
After slipping behind 20-6 they rallied back in the second quarter to within three points, led by determined offense and defence by their shooting guard Leslie.
However a missed three-pointer for the Mets just as they looked to go ahead allowed for a three at the other end that took the sting out of their comeback.
Once UoM re-composed themselves, the lead quickly got back to double digits, and other than one final scoring run led by MMU's No.5, UoM saw their opponents reeling and went in for the knockout punch, blowing them away in the final quarter.
In a game marred by courtside errors and officiating arguments, MMU can at least be positive in the fact that they showed flashes of real class. The journey back can’t have been cheerful, they fought valiantly and can draw strength from that ahead of their next match against their own university colleagues, as they face Manchester Met’s second team.