Basketball: Royals in less than regal show

LAST season Andy Gill coached Thames Valley Tigers and saw them finish runners-up behind Guildford Kings. This season Tigers lead the Carlsberg League, have won the WICB title and on Saturday night paraded the NatWest Trophy before their First Division game against Gill's new club, Hemel Hempstead Royals, writes Duncan Hooper.

Gill watched his new team come off second-best in an undisciplined 107-74 defeat as the Royals collected six technical fouls and had Roger Lloyd sent off for dissent.

Mike Niggli kept the Royals in the hunt in the first half, but Kevin St Kitts policed him in the second half and scored 20 points to lead the Tigers to victory.

Worthing stayed joint second by beating Hemel 109-64 on Friday night, leaving the Royals sliding towards bottom place.

London Towers stay third but needed a late basket and a defensive rebound from the England international Richard Scantlebury to preserve a 92-91 win over Birmingham Bullets.