Basketball: Nemeth backs Williams

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THE ENGLAND coach, Laszlo Nemeth, has urged that Derby Storm's international forward Yorick Williams should not be pre-judged for his role in the trouble at last weekend's Budweiser League game at Chester Jets. The game had to be abandoned following a mass brawl between players of both sides, apparently sparked by an earlier fight between Williams and Chester's Shawn Hartley.

Chester's chairman, Joe Lofthouse, reportedly said Williams deserved a lifetime ban after the trouble. The most serious incident resulted in the Chester physiotherapist, Alison Troughton, suffering a dislocated jaw and police are investigating the assault.

"As much as I condemn his actions, it is not right to call for a lifetime ban without a fair hearing," Nemeth said. Williams has been suspended by Derby pending an inquiry.

In the league, Tony Holley's last-second shot gave Manchester Giants an 80-78 win over Greater London Leopards to stay level with the joint leaders, Sheffield Sharks, who beat Chester 84-79 on Friday.