Despair followed by joy!

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WHAT a difference a week can make - two games in seven days for Ribble Valley Knights saw the local team experience joy and despair.

Knights’ first game was a home tie against Preston Pride, and the visitors edged a close first quarter 16-15, thanks mainly to good three-point shooting.

The second quarter saw Connor Ryan and Adam Taylor combine for a quick 10 points for a six-point lead. But again Preston turned to their outside shooting as the sides went in level at 30-all.

The third period saw tough defense from both teams and the squads level at 40-all.

Knights upped the tempo at the start of the final period, quickly establishing a seven-point advantage, but Preston produced a run of nine unanswered points to establish the slenderest of leads. The teams traded free throws and baskets, as the score moved to 53-51 in favour of the visitors. and Michael Li’s despairing last-second shot was snuffed out as the Knights fell to a heart-breaking defeat.

The Ribble Valley club could only muster eight players for the Wednesday night journey to Holmes Chapel, but the Knights took a 30-15 as Adam Taylor hit five three-pointers from five attempts and added another two-pointer for an amazing single period tally of 17 points.

In the second, with more attention being paid to Taylor, the other Knights players began sharing the scoring load, as Jon Marfleet, Simon Templeman and Patrick Simmons helped maintained the advantage.

The third period was a much tighter defensive affair, with Knights emerging with a slightly enhanced lead at 57-40.

Only a disastrous final quarter could stop the Knights, and a strong last period by Matt Taylor, who netted seven points, saw Knights home to a deserved 72-52 victory.

Man of the match was Patrick Simmons.

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