Basketball: Ford relieved as Derby stay ahead of the pack

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The Independent Online
AFTER BILLING themselves as the "best team in the championship", losing to the worst team should not have been on the agenda for Derby Storm against Leicester City Riders at the Granby Halls on Saturday night, where they eventually won 83-80.

With 52 seconds left, Derby were 80-77 behind, after the on-court partnership between Leicester's Troy Coleman, playing his first game for three weeks, and their recent signing Purnell Perry dragged the Riders back after they trailed 33-18 at the end of the first quarter.

"What pulled us through," Martin Ford, the Derby coach, said, "is that we are used to winning games and Leicester aren't. But on this show they won't have long to wait."

The win put Storm two points ahead of the pack in the championship's Northern Conference and last night they completed a successful weekend by keeping alive their chances of reaching the League Trophy quarter-finals by beating Birmingham Bullets 79-72 after trailing 71-67 with less than three minutes to play. Derby scored their last 10 points from the free throw line as four Bullets fouled out.

Results, Digest, page 9