A dramatic incident on court led to a 15-point advantage for UEL over Brunel being lost, as the BUCS Premier South match at the SportsDock was abandoned due to heated behaviour on the court.
UEL’s Matthew Ponce and Brunel’s Amini began to get physical at the start of the third quarter and their antagonism escalated into a tussle during which Amini took a few swipes at the American’s face, which drew both benches onto the court.
Punches were thrown and the situation appeared to get out of control. UEL’s High Performance Sports Officer, Matthew Tansley, ran on to help calm the situation down.
Prior to the game, fourth-placed Brunel had an even record of two wins and two losses, whereas the home side had won three and lost one. Brunel, along with Southampton, had been tipped as pre-season favourites to challenge UEL for the BUCS title, so a competitive match was to be expected.
UEL started clinically and Scott Pizor was on fire as he helped the home side to a 10-3 lead. However, the seven-point margin was short-lived as Brunel stormed back to narrow the gap to 17-14.
UEL guard Micah Watson-Gayle converted a slam dunk and fellow guard Kevin Moyo completed a solo layup, showing that a lack of size counts for nothing as they helped ease UEL to a 32-18 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
Brunel were unable to cut the deficit to less than 10 points during the second quarter as layups from UEL’s Rose Davis as well as free throws from Micah Watson-Gayle and Sean Olaofe maintained the home side’s lead at 40-29. A sublime play from the agile Moyo closed the first half of action with UEL leading 45-30.
Each side hit three pointers early in the third and then UEL maintained the 15-point advantage as they led, 51-36, before the action was halted as the tension quickly escalated.
The match was eventually abandoned as multiple players, including every player from each team’s bench, were sent off and there were not enough players to continue with the game.
The match has been officially postponed and as of publication there has been no official word as to when the match will be replayed, if it is replayed at all.
In the meantime, UEL have to put that behind them as they will face Southampton Solent at the SportsDock on Wednesday, with tip-off at 4:00.