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18th Jan 2006

In East Kent league action, the two Saints teams faced each other in what is fast becoming a genuinely competitive fixture.

With Rob Dagger and Davie Drylie leading the way, the B team held the advantage in the early stages, but once again it was Ian Atkins fast break points that made the difference as the A's took a 30-20 lead into the first break.

The second quarter illustrated the different styles of the two sides: the B team's disciplined attack featuring high percentage jump shots, versus the free-wheeling make-it-up-as-you-go approach of the A side. Both proved equally effective as the 10-point difference remained at halftime, 48-38.

Ross Cooper and Sig Aldeen dominated the scoring in the second half, but their efforts went in vain as Saints A hit 10 unanswered points at a critical stage to ensure the victory.

Although they came through with a 85-72 victory, alarm bells will be ringing in the A camp, as it surely won't be long before Folkestone's youngsters add some experience to their obvious skill and use it to bridge the gap between the sides.

Saints A: I Atkins 24, D May 17, P Jessop 13, M Harding 9, L Andrews 6, S Thomas 6, I Coulson 6, A Smith 4, M Bushell.

Saints B: S Aldeen 24, R Dagger 18, R Cooper 11, D Drylie 8, B Simmonds 3, J Brayshaw 2, M Prado 2, M Walton 2, P Major 2, D Howkins.


30th Jan 2006

Although captain Ross Cooper led a second half revival with 16 of a season-high 23 points, Saints B never recovered from a poor 22-6 start and fell 49-44 to the Tornados.

Saints B: R Cooper 23, J Brayshaw 6, D Howkins 6, P Major 4, P Meston 4, M Walton 1, M Prado


1st Feb 2006

Folkestone Saints basketball team compounded a disappointing Medway season with a shock defeat to Gravesend side Guru Nanak.

The religious affiliation have for many years been tricky customers, because you never knew which team would turn up on the night. Unfortunately for Saints, the team which welcomed them this night would have posed difficulties for any other team in the League. This said, Saints would have still considered themselves worthy of contention for a win, but for the absence of the majority of their usual starting line-up.

The damage was done as early as the first quarter. Saints had to endure a devastating ten minutes of offensive play from the hosts, where they did not appear to miss a shot. Exploding time and again from their own defence, the Gravesenders posed a constant run and gun threat to the Saints, which Folkestone were unable to counter. It was the first time this season that they faced a first quarter scoreline like the 39-15 that stood at the first break..

Saints did manage to get their game together, but the damage was done. Saints matched their hosts during the next three quarters, but never managed to make a dent in the huge deficit facing them. Outdone for once, as Saints were, for height and strength, Guru Nanak muscled to safety through the remainder of the game, leaving one Saints player needing stitches. Only May and Aldeen, periodically, posed any kind of threat to the hosts, but it was all to no avail.

Saints: May 22, Aldeen 21, Bushell 13, Redfearn 12, Thomas 9, Hinton 3, Major 2, Howkins 2


8th Feb 2006

Folkestone Saints basketball team completed a comfortable victory over Tenterden on Wednesday at the Sports Centre, whilst being impressed at the commitment and energy of the young side, new to the East Kent League this year. The 105-58 final scoreline may have been decisive, but it was a testament to the plucky visitors that they put 58 points past taller, stronger and more experienced opposition.

Steve Thomas set Saints on their way with two consecutive three-pointers in the first quarter, bagging a team-high 23 points in the game. Saints stepped up a gear in the second quarter with Lee Andrews, 15 points in the game, leading the way with some strong attacking moves. The second quarter played out much the same as the first, with Saints dominating throughout, though the visitors kept battling away and picked up some tidy baskets. It wasn't the most challenging of games for Folkestone, but it was entertaining, and Saints were pleased to rediscover a greater fluidity and team ethic, aspects that have been much lacking in the early season.

Saints A: Thomas 23, Redfearn 20, Andrews 15, May 13, Aldeen 12, Dagger 9, Bushell 6, Hinton 5, Harding 2


13th Feb 2006

Saints have had a rocky season, plagued by injury, inconsistency and sometimes indifference, so it was refreshing that Saints made a game of it throughout the first half against the strongest team in the county. Jessop kept Saints in the game with a couple of early three pointers, helped by some strong post moves by big centre Dave May, and three fast breaks by Tim Redfearn.

Though Saints scored steadily, Greenwich matched them basket for basket and the lead was never more than a few points either way. Greenwich, for their part, hosted a united nations of players, and each played their part. Their guards were deadly accurate and their two big men were a handful for Jessop and May, being tall, agile and strong, whereas Dave May was just tall.

Folkestone effectively lost the match in the first two frantic minutes of the second quarter; after going in 40-38 behind, they quickly found themselves trailing 52-40 after a Greenwich onslaught. The remainder of the contest became a hopeless battle to cut back the lead, with Adam Harman racking up 7 points for the half, aided by an engaging cameo by Lee Andrews, but it was ultimately to no avail.

The Admirals sailed through the last quarter, raining four three-pointers as Saints' zone defence ceased their inside threat but opened up too many gaps at the top. The final scoreline of 85-71 was probably a just result, but Saints will rue a golden opportunity to cause an upset, spoilt by two minutes of poor concentration.

Saints: Jessop 21, May 16, Harman 13, Redfearn 8, Andrews 4, Aldeen 4, Bushell 2, Dagger 2, Major 1


19th Feb 2006

Folkestone Saints basketball team continued their disappointing season in the Medway League, with a defeat against a much-improved Guru Nanak at Folkestone Sports Centre.

Two weeks previously, in Gravesend, Saints were shocked by a 39 point first quarter blitz by the underestimated religious affiliation; their worst single quarter in recent years. Thankfully this time round, Saints, despite missing many players, held their own in the first and second quarters, the two teams sharing the spoils at half time with Saints just ahead 44-43.

Most of the Saints damage was inflicted by Tim "The Mitten" Redfearn - 26 points in the game, who terrorised the visitors with his mazey runs to the basket.

The second half was marred by the loss of coach Mark Hinton who had to leave with a dislocated finger. Hinton's absence initially did little to affect the balance of the game, as the two sides matched basket for basket. His skills as a coach though were sorely missed in the last five minutes of the contest, as Saints needed management on the bench to orchestrate time outs, and allow Saints to keep their heads.

Little did they know it, with the electronic scoreboard down, but Saints were actually ahead in the last two minutes. Nanak though, made the best of the final countdown and came away victors at 81-86

Saints: Redfearn 24, May 18, Aldeen 13, Bushell 11, Thomas 9, Andrews 2, Dagger 2, Hinton 2, Brayshaw


12th Mar 2006

A Saints A side short on players crashed out of the East Kent Knockout Cup after a 103-69 defeat at the hands of Whitstable. Despite having the home-court advantage, Folkestone were fielding too many half-fit players to mount a serious challenge and never found their offensive rhythm or mental focus against strong opposition.

Whitstable began the rout with a 28-10 first quarter, with only leading scorer Paul Jessop offering any resistance. From the outset Saints were never in the game, giving up turnovers, rebounds and uncontested shots from the perimeter, which eventually resulted in Whitstable scoring what turned out to be the winning basket in only the 5 th minute of the third quarter.

With only pride left to play for, things improved slightly for the reigning cup-holders in the fourth period, but only because Whitstable had such a commanding lead that they were able to rest their starters and even under these circumstances Folkestone couldn't reduce the deficit, eventually finishing 34 points adrift.

Saints A: P Jessop 28, P Kennedy 14, M Hinton 11, A Smith 6, T Redfearn 4, M Harding 4, S Aldeen 2, S Thomas, L Andrews


13th Mar 2006

Folkestone Saints basketball team continued a poor second half of the season with another loss to Medway League leaders Greenwich Admirals, this time in the Medway Cup semi-finals.

Despite the loss, the contest was productive for Saints, as they played better basketball than they had for a while, with a team consisting of just two seniors and averaging around 20 years old - not including the aged Dave Howkins.

Folkestone impressed early on in the first quarter, taking the lead until the final minute, when a late basket took the scoreline to 23-22 to Greenwich. Saints strategy of minimising the mistakes and concentrating on a solid zone defence stood them in good stead through the first and well into the second, with Paul Jessop (11 for the half), Matt Bushell (8) and Davie Drylie (5) chipping in at the offensive end. Saints took a still respectable 43-33 deficit into the second quarter.

Saints lack of height to combat the towering and more athletic Greenwich threat and their lack of a strong bench were always going to be decisive factors in the contest, but historically Saints have always competed better against Greenwich when against the odds. In fact, Saints are the only team to have beaten Greenwich previously in three or more years.

Saints held delusions of an upset, even up to the seventh minute of the third quarter, when they cut a previous 18 point deficit to 10, and just needed to push on a little more. Unfortunately it was not to be, and the Admirals sailed into an extra gear. Sig Aldeen and Jessop, with an engaging cameo from Howkins, contributed their best to try to ebb the flow, but all to no avail as the Greenwich sharp-shooters rained their shots in.

The final scoreline of 93-70 was a fair reflection of Greenwich's second half dominance, but the young Saints team were pleased that they had put up a battling performance, and the situation augurs well for the future of the club.

Saints: Jessop 22, Aldeen 16, Bushell 10, Dagger 10, Drylie 10, Howkins 2, Brayshaw, Major.


21st Mar 2006

Saints put some shine on a particularly gloomy season with a spectacular win on the road against Medway rivals the Lordswood Wizards. The 53-59 victory was significant because the depleted Saints were set against a full strength Lordswood side whilst hosting themselves just seven players, with only two of the Saints injury-depleted regular starting line-up.

Saints, underheight and understrength, elected to play a regular zone defence and decided to concentrate on accurate passing, boxing out and preventing turnovers, a strategy employed to good effect against Greenwich the previous week.

In the first quarter, Saints held the opposing tricks and threat of the Wizards very well, and the hosts were plagued by the persistent defence of Saints teenagers Sig Aldeen and Rob Dagger. Saints effectively expelled the twin threats of Lordwoods' trademark run and gun offence and 3 point blitz (they only made two in the game). Paul Jessop contributed 6 points in the first quarter aided by a Steve Thomas 3 pointer, to end the period 14-12 down.

In the second, Saints restricted the opposition to just ten points, whilst posting sixteen for themselves, Matt Bushell (6 for the quarter) and Sig Aldeen (4) upped the pressure, and took the lead to 24-28.

Captain Paul Jessop, last year's National League III Player of the Year upped his game in the third quarter. Dominating the defensive boards he seemed to grab every rebound from the heads of the towering Lordswood centres. In defence, aided by the skilful penetration of ball handlers Tim Redfearn and Mark Hinton, Jessop banked 9 points for the quarter, as Saints cleared out; with Aldeen contributing another four late on to increase the lead to 40-46.

Into the fourth and final quarter, with the incredible sight of Tim Redfearn competing with opponents a foot taller than himself for rebounds in defence, a tired Saints held on. With the lead suddenly cut to two points, Saints played the ball throughout the team, and were fouled four times in the Lordwood's desperation to turn the ball over. The subsequent 7 from 8 from the free throw line were essential in the final victory - a victory which proved that the Saints youngsters are coming of age.

Saints: Jessop 19, Aldeen 10, Hinton 9, Redfearn 8, Bushell 8, Thomas 3, Dagger 2


24th May 2006

Folkestone Saints basketball team ended the season on a gloomy note, with a quarter final defeat in the Kent Cup to Bromley.

Folkestone started badly, even before touching a ball, struggling to get through the South London traffic and arriving late at Crystal Palace. With no warm-up, Folkestone did well to restrict the hosts to 25-17, with Saints go-to-man Paul Jessop bagging 11 points. In truth though, Folkestone were never going to be contenders, with a weaker, lighter, more inexperienced team than Bromley and half a dozen top players missing. It has been the story of a disappointing Saint's season that they have never been competing at full strength with so many players missing through injury.

Saints were never to win a quarter in the match, with the third quarter's 21-19 deficit being their best effort. Jessop (playing in Division II of the National League second next season with East Kent Crusaders) top scored with 36 points while young rookie Sig Aldeen (15) again displayed his potential for the future. The final scoreline of 101-69 was a fair reflection of the contest, but Saints were disappointed with being broken for a ton, due to immobile defensive deficits.

Saints: Jessop 36, Aldeen 15, Hinton 8, Smith 6, Atkins 2, Bushell 2, Brayshaw, Dagger, Thomas


25th May 2006

Folkestone Saints A team travelled to Herne Bay to round up the 2005-2006 East Kent League Season with a win on the road. Folkestone, last year's champions, have been decimated this season by injuries to key players and are likely to find themselves a lowly third when the final table is published, behind Whitstable and Dover.

Not everything is gloomy for Saints though, with a huge contingent of talented youth coming through, as a result of coach Mark Hinton's Saturday youth sessions at the Sports Centre. The old guard are starting to look their age, whilst the youngsters are still a couple of seasons from being a force, so next season will be very much a transitional period for Saints. A case in point for highlighting this potential was this game against Herne Bay, where 5 players under 18 contributed.

Paul Jessop was the top scorer as normal, with a healthy haul of 28 points. Lee Andrews (8 points) aided him superbly with a blinder of a game, whilst ball handler Tim "The Mitten" Redfearn stormed to 10 points. The contest was really over in the first quarter as Saints posted a 11-20 lead and then played their whole bench for the rest of the encounter. Herne Bay, vastly improved this season, registered a considerable 21-11 fourth quarter score, but by then the contest was well over.

Saints A: Jessop 31, Redfearn 12, Andrews 9, Smith 7, Thomas 5, Hinton 4, Aldeen 3, Brayshaw 2, Bushell 2, Dagger, Major, Meston.


4th June 2006

The Under 16 Kent Central Venue League Final Four was held in Sevenoaks with Folkestone joining teams from Greenwich, Canterbury and Tonbridge in a showdown between the top two teams from the East and West Kent conferences.

An undefeated Folkestone Saints team faced Tonbridge's Hayesbrook School in the semi finals and, led by the shooting of Ash Rai and Charlie Thomas, the East Kent top seeds took an early lead. A 19-5 advantage at the end of the first quarter was extended to 33-12 in the second, but the momentum started to turn in favour of the Tonbridge side towards the end of the half.

Outscored 39-19 in the second half, Saints were finally overtaken with two minutes to play and finished on the losing side for the first time this season, 55-61.

Saints final appearance of the season was therefore a third place playoff against Western Conference champions Greenwich Admirals, who had lost their semi in overtime 105-92.

Not wanting to return home winless, Rob Dagger shouldered the scoring responsibilities, scoring 16 of his team's 18 second quarter points to keep the match tied 38-38 at the half. A close second half saw Saints hold the lead until the final two minutes, but unfortunately even Dagger's season-high 44 point total was not enough to secure victory as Greenwich triumphed in the final seconds, 88-85.

The final pitted Hayesbrook against current and two-time league champion East Kent Crusaders. Hayesbrook started the brightest and ran out to a 13-2 first quarter lead, which they held throughout the game to finish as champions with a 67-53 final score.

Saints U16 (v Hayesbrook) A Rai 22, C Thomas 18, R Dagger 10, P Giri 3, A Burgess 2, D Doran, B Thomas, J Lloyd, J Doran.

Saints U16 (v Greenwich) R Dagger 44, A Rai 10, J Doran 10, P Giri 8, C Thomas 7, A Burgess 4, J Lloyd 2, D Doran, B Thomas


24th Sept 2006

Folkestone Saints Under 18 National League Basketball Team formed this year, entering into the south-east conference division. The team played its first pre-season friendly fixture against Folkestone Saints Senior A Team on Sunday 24th September at Pent Valley Leisure Centre, the home court of the National League Team. Just before the match began, team sponsor, Brian Harman of Shepway Glass presented the National League Juniors with their new kit.

Saints under 18 began strongly scoring the first basket of the match. A closely contended first quarter left the under 18s trailing 7-13. The second quarter saw the seniors leading all the way, although the under 18s were very strong defensively, preventing the seniors from scoring their usual high points. As the second quarter came to a close, with 34.4 seconds remaining, the under 18s were trailing by 3 points. Coach Hinton called a time-out to set his team's plans, and when the teams returned for the remaining seconds, the under 18s scored 2 points quickly, stole the ball and with 3 seconds left and the ball in captain Matt Carpenter's hands, he released the perfect shot giving the National League boys a 1 point half-time lead, 21-20.

By the end of the third quarter, the seniors had pulled ahead again, leaving the national league boys down by 7 points, 31-38. The fourth quarter saw the boys come out with their never ending fighting spirit and positive attitude. Immediately they began scoring, and chipping away at the senior's lead. With 3 mins 40 secs remaining, the national league team regained the lead, and never lost it, winning the game 54-47. A fantastic win for the boys, as this is the first time that the seniors have been beaten by the saints senior B team, or the junior squad, proving the that all the hard work and effort by the boys throughout the summer was worth it.

Coach Hinton and Coach Dagger were delighted with the result and look forward to the season ahead.