Warwickshire Bears, bolstered by the return of Mark Butler and Paul Colbourne, recorded their first victory of the season when they beat hosts Swindon Shock 61-43 in Division Two South of the National League.
With Dan Gill, last year’s best newcomer, also available, the Bears bounced back from their opening-day defeat at Norwich to the delight of coach Tom Masterson.
“I was really pleased with the team’s performance as I knew we were a better side than our last result showed,” said Masterson.
“It’s still early in the season but this game has now set the standard for the rest of the year. It was great to see both Mark and Paul back and I was so happy to give our youngest squad member, Naomi Van Hill, her debut for the first team.”
The opening quarter was a close tussle with Bears gaining a six-point advantage at the break.
They changed tactics in the second quarter and effectively won the match with a strong defensive display that restricted Shock to just four points.
After a wobble in the third quarter – Shock won it 11-10 – Bears returned to their effective defensive format to pull away and clinch the points.
Ben Haigh top-scored for the visitors with 29 points.
Meanwhile, Bears’ second string suffered a 47-40 defeat against their Swindon counterparts.