Worthing Thunder go into the Christmas break on the back of a 100-81 defeat against an excellent visiting Reading Rockets at Worthing Leisure Centre last Saturday.

In an entertaining match the visitors proved to be too strong for the home side and a dominant fourth quarter from the Rockets saw off a gallant fight-back from Thunder.

Thunder sprung into a 7-2 lead in the early stages of the match but as Reading began to find their feet with some assured shooting and excellent basketball in the paint, the visitors started to take control of the match finishing the first quarter 8 ahead at 32-24. It was more of the same in the second period with the Rockets extending their lead to 12 go into the locker room at half-time with a 12 point advantage.

After the break Thunder held their own for much of the period not allowing the game to escape them and with 1 minute 30 seconds of the quarter remaining the home side were hanging on to the coat-tails of the visitors having reduced the deficit to 10 points (64-74). However, during the remainder of the third period and the first 25 seconds of the final session and in less than two-minutes of playing time Thunder embarked on a remarkable recovery. An 11-0 run saw the home side almost impossibly back in the game and edge ahead by a solitary point. Although the game was close for the next 4 minutes, a 15-2 run by the Rockets saw the visitors spring out to a 15 point lead by which time there was only going to be one outcome to the match. Thunder eventually lost the quarter 10-26 scoring just six points in the last 9 minutes of the match.

There is no doubt that on the night Reading looked to be one of the best sides Thunder have seen on their home court this season and if they can maintain their form throughout the rest of the programme they will certainly be contesting for the Championship honours. For their part Thunder although still 2nd in the league now share the position with Rockets, Hemel Storm and Thames Valley Cavaliers.

Thunder top scorers: Alex Owumi (23 points); Zaire Taylor (23 points); Dominic Ives (12 points); Cameron Hildreth (10 points); Tom Ward (7 points); Ishmael Fontaine (3 points); AJ Basi (3 points)

Thunder will return to action in the New Year when they have a run of three away games starting with a visit to top-of-the table Solent Kestrels on11 January. Thunder’s next home game is on 25 January against Thames Valley Cavaliers tip off 7.30 pm.