Derby's demise forces Jets into global scramble
Tuesday 11 April 2000
Airline tickets will be the biggest item on Chester Jets credit card bill this week, as they pull the core of their team back from the other side of the world to face London Towers in Saturday's quarter-finals of the Dairylea Dunkers championships at Coventry's Skydome.
Pero Cameron and Terrence Lewis are in their native New Zealand, Greg Francis is in Canada and James Hamilton, according to the coach, Robbie Peers, is "night-clubbing somewhere in Europe".
The Jets were so convinced their play-off hopes were dead two weeks ago that they booked their foreign players on flights home. The Jets needed to win their last four northern conference games - including one against the champions, Manchester Giants - to snatch fourth place in the conference.
They also needed Derby Storm to extend their losing streak up to their final game at Newcastle Eagles on Saturday night and they duly obliged, losing 94-81 to complete a run of eight defeats in their last 10 as jubilant Chester fans watched.
"Whatever it takes to get the players back, we'll do it," said the Jets' former coach, Mike Burton, now assistant to his protÃ©gÃ©, Peers. "I'm delighted for Robbie. He's made the play-offs in his second season as coach and it took me donkeys' years."
Peers said: "We'll have to round them up and start training again on Thursday. It's unfortunate for Derby, who were playing like worldbeaters at the start of the season, but it's a fairy-tale for us."
While Chester's players begin to arrive at English airports, there is a suspicion that Derby's lack of motivation in recent weeks stemmed from some of their players being eager to fly in the opposite direction to attend training camps for USBL clubs in America.
QUARTER-FINAL LINE-UP (Coventry SkyDome, 15 April): Manchester Giants v Milton Keynes Lions (11.15), London Towers v Chester Jets (1.30), Sheffield Sharks v Birmingham Bullets (3.45), Thames Valley Tigers v Edinburgh Rocks (6.0).
newsFormer soldier taped 33 of the animals to the floor and then stamped on them one by one
Michelle Nijhuis' daughter insists (s)he is, and she learnt a valuable lesson on gender in books
Latest in Sport
Mesut Ozil reveals he really is the Superman at Arsenal, Jack Wilshere is Batman and don't make Lukas Podolski angry - it's the Arsenal Christmas Party
Transfer news: Liverpool - January transfer targets
Missing out on Tottenham job was a 'close shave', says Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers
The most underrated players in the Premier League
Transfer news: Chelsea - January transfer targets
- 1 North Koreans are gasping for the truth: Let's give it to them
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 4 Burglar steals video tapes of child abuse, hands them into police
- 5 Cycle death inquest: Boyfriend hugs driver of 32 tonne tipper truck that killed his girlfriend
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Anachronistic and iniquitous, grammar schools are a blot on the British education system
Negotiable: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: Teacher of Science (Ph...
Negotiable: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: Room Leaders required ...
£50-80k + Bonuses: Charter Selection: Market leading high end commercial fit o...
£60k: Charter Selection: Prestigious ultra high end/luxury fit out and refurbi...