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Suns and Riders Win Play-off Finals At The O2

Monday, 20 May 2019 12:19:07 Europe/London

The BBL and WBBL’s show-stopping marquee event at London’s O2 Arena took place over the weekend, with the very best male and female basketball players fighting it out to take home the BBL Play-offs title.

In the BBL final, the perennial favourites Leicester Riders took on the reigning BBL Trophy winners, the London City Royals. It was familiar territory for the defending-champion Riders who reached their sixth final in eight years.

BBL Play-off FinalThe Riders came flying out of the gates to take an early eight-point lead at the end of the first quarter but the Royals fought hard in the second quarter to keep the gap the same, with both sides picking up 21 points in the quarter.

The second half, however, was a completely different story as Leicester’s strong defensive display restricted the Royals to just 25 points for the remainder of the match, their strength illustrated by the Riders 14 points from turnovers. The defending champions, meanwhile, romped home with 27 points in the third quarter and 22 in the fourth to win 93-61 and retain their Play-off title for the third year running.

Tim Williams was instrumental in the victory with an impressive return of 10 rebounds to go with his 20 points, earning MVP honours in the process. JR Holder also contributed an impressive 17 points and his teammate Jamell Anderson fired home a further 14 points.

In the WBBL Play-off final, the Leicester Riders were again in action as they took on the defending champions Sevenoaks Suns.

In a much closer affair, the Suns raced to an early six-point lead at the end of the first quarter before relinquishing the lead as the Riders scored 12 unanswered points, to fall behind by four points going into the break.  

However, despite being down by 10 points in the third quarter, the Suns quickly regained control to go on a 13-0 run to finish a point ahead at the end of the quarter, somehow managing to keep the Riders at bay for over four minutes.WBBL Play-off final

After a back and forth final quarter, the Suns found themselves behind 50-46 before making yet another decisive run – scoring seven straight points – with just 90 seconds remaining on the clock to retain the Play-off title for third successive year.

Brea Elmore scored 17 points for the Riders, however with little bench support she was unable to bring the title home for her side. Meanwhile, Sevenoaks’ Janice Monakana secured the MVP award thanks to her 23 points off the bench, including the shot that broke the deadlock late in the fourth quarter, a lead her side didn’t relinquish again as they secured the victory 60-55.

0 Comments | Posted in Basketball Molten By Jack Dinning

Royals & Riders Crowned Trophy Champions

Tuesday, 12 March 2019 09:43:04 Europe/London

One of British Basketball’s biggest weekends lived up to the billing this past weekend as the BBL and WBBL Trophy finalists tipped off in Glasgow.

The BBL final saw an all-London showdown between the Royals and the Lions, with the Royals aiming to create history by winning silverware in their maiden BBL season. Meanwhile, the Lions were hoping to add to their BBL trophy collection having already won the Cup earlier this year.

Matthew Bryan-Amaning led the Royals' scoring with 26 points and Ashley Hamilton added 25 points in the first final to go to overtime in BBL history. Justin Robinson led the Lions with 20 points and Ladarius Tabb and Brandon Peel added 17 points each.

In a low-scoring first half, the first quarter saw the Lions hold a 4-point lead before a fightback, largely thanks to Hamilton scoring 14 points in the quarter on his way to the Most Valuable Player award, saw the Royal briefly take the lead. Despite this, the Lions held on for a 2-point lead at half-time with the score 38-36.

The Royals retook the lead after the interval with Bryan-Amaning again dominant close to the basket and they maintained that with an impressive cameo from former Lions guard Orlan Jackman.

The Lions forged back ahead 69-62 with four and a half minutes remaining, but Hamilton again brought the Royals back into the game with two baskets in a 7-0 run.

Lions captain Joe Ikhinmwin looked to have won it for Lions with a three-pointer 24 seconds from time, but Ed Lucas matched that with six seconds left to send the game into an extra period.

The Royals hit the first eight points of overtime before Ikhinmwin hit another three. But the closest the Lions could get was three points, Bryan-Amaning fittingly scoring the final basket with two seconds remaining.

In the WBBL final, the Leicester Riders retained their title in a closely fought contest against the Durham Palatinates.

Leicester held the lead for the majority of the game, even creating a 10-point gap at the end of the first quarter. However, a lapse in concentration allowed the Palatinates to go into the half having reduced the deficit to a single point.

The Riders regained control early in the second half, going on a 12-4 run to extend their lead to eight at the end of the third quarter thanks in part to MVP Kate Oliver’s all-round display. A nervy finish allowed Durham to battle back before a couple of pivotal free throws saw the Riders home with just seconds left on the clock.  

Claire Paxton led the Riders' scoring with 18 points and Kate Oliver, voted most valuable player, added 16 points to go along with eight rebounds and five blocks. Paxton also proved pivotal with a team-high 18 points, shooting 8/9 from the floor.

Harriet Ottewill-Soulsby and Theairra Taylor led Durham's effort with 18 points apiece as the underdogs came close to causing an upset.

0 Comments | Posted in Basketball Molten By Jack Dinning

Europa League Round Of 16

Friday, 8 March 2019 16:24:18 Europe/London

The Europa League Round of 16 kicked off last night, delivering drama of the highest quality for the two remaining British teams.

Both Chelsea and Arsenal have made it to this point of the competition at a relative canter, but with the competition kicking up a notch, surprise results can often be the flavour of the day.

Arsenal compounded that theory with a shock defeat to French side Rennes,
who 
currently lie 10th in Ligue 1. Despite taking the lead through Alex Iwobi early in the first half, Sokratis Papastathopoulos’ dismissal following a second yellow card invited a wave a attack from the French side, culminating in an equalising goal for Benjamin Bourigeaud just three minutes before half time.

The Gunners arrived in France having never lost an away game against French opposition, and with Petr Cech making a succession of important saves, they looked as though they may be able to keep their record intact.

Cech’s resistance lasted until the 65th minute when a Nacho Monreal own goal from a cross gave Rennes the lead before a mistake late in the game allowed James Lea Siliki to break free and provide a perfect cross for Ismaila Sarr to head home and secure the win.

Arsenal will now need to overcome a two-goal deficit to reach the Quarter Finals when they host Rennes on Thursday 14 March.

Chelsea, meanwhile, found the going far easier as they breezed past Dynamo Kiev to give themselves a commanding three-goal advantage for the second leg of their last 16 tie.

Maurizio Sarri’s side looked lively from the beginning, creating a multitude of chances that could have seen them take a three goal advantage into the half time. As it happened, they were only able to manage one goal through Pedro, thanks to a sumptuous backheel from Olivier Giroud.

Chelsea took control of the game through Willian’s superbly curled free-kick from 25 yards out to double their lead in the 65th minute, with a strike that rendered the goalkeeper to a mere spectator, only moving to collect the ball from the back of the net.

The Blues extended their advantage to three through Callum Hudson-Odoi in the 90th minute to head into the second leg with a commanding lead. Chelsea’s dominance was typified by goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga’s workload as he was not needed to make a single save in the entire game.

Comments | Posted in Football Molten By Jack Dinning

Latest Team Unicorn news as Asada wins in Asia

Monday, 18 February 2019 08:41:38 Europe/London

Japanese darting star Seigo Asada is off and running at the the 2019 PDC Asian Tour.

The Unicorn ace won event four on home soil in Kobe after just missing out in the final of event three!

seigo

Asada saw off Hong Kong’s Royden Lam 5-3 in the final to claim his first Asian Tour victory of the year as he bids to qualify for the World Championship again.

The top four from the Asian Tour Order of Merit will claim prized spots at the Ally Pally. Asada had a tough route to victory. He beat Lourence Ilagan 5-4 in the quarter-finals, then produced a blistering display to see off Paul Lim 5-0 in the semi’s.

At event three in Japan, Asada lost out 5-3 to Haruki Muramatsu in the final. The next Asian Tour double-header is in Leyte at the end of March.

Dimitri van den Bergh and Ian White have made terrific starts to the Players Championship circuit after both Team Unicorn men reached finals in Wigan at the weekend.

For Dimitri, it was a landmark moment as he battles to make a big impression in the floor tournaments. He was superb at PC4 before losing the final 8-3 to PDC new boy and three times Lakeside Champion Glen Durrant.

The PDC Unicorn Youth Champion kicked off with victory over stablemate Chris Dobey and also beat James Wade along the way. An average of over 100 saw the Belgian secure a 7-5 victory over Rob Cross in the semi-finals.

It was good to see Mark McGeeney have a good run to the last 16 before losing an all Unicorn clash to Kyle Anderson, who then lost to Cross in the quarters.

On Saturday White played superbly to reach the final at PC3 but ran up against an inspired Michael van Gerwen. The World Champion took out 170 and 160 twice as he triumphed 8-5, but White once again proving his pedigree on the floor.

DvB

What a few weeks it has been for Unicorn youngster Chris Dobey after his brilliant run at the World Championship. It has all clicked into place!

He said it was like “Alan Shearer walking out at St James’ Park’ as he played in the Premier League as a Contender on week one in Newcastle.

Dobey played superbly as he drew six apiece with Mensur Suljovic. He then hit is first PDC 9 darter at PC2 in Wigan and he also reached the semi-final at PC3 after he Unicorn ace also missed D12 to claim another 9 darter!

Dobey lost in the semi’s to White but he is certainly showcasing just how good he is.

By the way, Michael Smith has been hitting averages of 110, 111 and 112 regularly at the Players Championship tournaments so far. But a quarter-final and a run to the last 16 are his best results so far.

In the Premier League it has been a mixed start for Smith and Wade. The World Championship runner-up was edged out by Van Gerwen in Newcastle and threw away a big lead to only draw against Peter Wright in Glasgow.

Wade beat Raymond van Barneveld on the opening night but was defeated by Cross in Scotland.

Gary Anderson continues to receive intensive treatment on the back problem that ruled him out of the Premier League.

The good news is that the Unicorn star does not need surgery and his aim is to be at Minehead to defend his UK Open crown.

His return to action can’t come soon enough!

It is congratulations to Team Unicorn Latvian ace Madars Razma who won the first tournament of the year on the PDC Nordic and Baltic Tour.

And finally, it is also congratulations to Jamie Caven. Playing in his first competitive BDO tournament for 15 years, ‘Jabba ‘ won through to the semi-finals of the Scottish Open but lost to eventual winner Wesley Harms.

Stories from STUART PYKE

Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Matthew Rankin

Player Edition Bats

Tuesday, 5 February 2019 16:04:08 Europe/London

When you purchase a Gunn & Moore bat, whether it be from our website or through one of our retailers, you can be assured of the very highest quality of willow, attention to detail and exceptional performance.

Stokes

If you ever find yourself looking for a bat on our website, you may notice a section called ‘Player Edition Bats’.  These incredible bats are absolutely 100% identical to those which some of your favourite players use, including Ben Stokes, Ross Taylor or GM’s latest Test Match centurion, Travis Head.

GM’s DXM technology allows us to offer precise replicas of leading GM Players’ Bats and our unique Computer Aided Manufacture allows us to produce bats to the exact player profile and dimensions. The incredible attention to detail that we put into all of our bats is unmatched, but it is magnified with regards to Player Edition bats, exemplified by the GM label on the bat itself.

If you are a right-handed batter and you purchase a Ben Stokes Player Edition, you may be slightly surprised to find the orientation of some of the GM stickers to be the opposite way round to the traditional GM bat. This is not a mistake as Stokes himself is a left-handed batsman and if he were to use the traditional labelling, the GM logo as he looks at it when he bats and when it appears on television would spend more time upside down than the right way up.

PEDiamond

All of these bats are also equipped with a laser engraved signature of the player on the back of the blade. In years gone by, that signature has always been on the right-hand-side of the blade but for the 2019 range, the signature will match the orientation of the sticker, meaning that right-handed James Vince’s and left-handed Quinton de Kock’s signatures, for example, will be on different sides.

Player Edition bats are made from very select LE timber and are finished with prestige Player Edition identification in addition to the superb laser engraved player autographs. GM NOW! and ToeTek™ finish are fitted as standard for almost every bat in the range and it’s the same for the Player Editions. Bat weights cannot be specified and will be “as finished”, meaning they will be exactly the same as the player you have selected, the dimensions of which you can see when looking at a specific Player Edition bat.

0 Comments | Posted in GM Cricket By Jack Dinning

Lions & Hatters Win Dramatic BBL & WBBL Finals!

Friday, 1 February 2019 14:33:08 Europe/London

An action-packed day of basketball saw a new BBL and WBBL Cup Winner crowned in a couple of thrilling contests, displaying the best of British Basketball.

BBL Cup Final

The London Lions roared home in the BBL Cup Final at Arena Birmingham to clinch the trophy for the first time in 8 years.

The Lions were in control throughout the match, outscoring the Glasgow Rocks in each quarter before eventually running out 68-54 winners, thanks in large part to Brandon Peel’s MVP performance which included 21 points, 14 rebounds and 3 assists.

The final score-line was the lowest-scoring in the Cup’s 30-year history, despite the best efforts of Peel who was the only player on either side to go into half-time with double digit points to his name as his side went into the break with a 10 point lead.

The third quarter saw Peel add another 10 points to his tally and extended the lead to 13. A small comeback in the final quarter cut the deficit to 7 points, before a 7-0 run at the end of the game secured the title for London.

Vince Macaulay was head coach the last time the Lions won the Cup and his side continued its season dominance over the Rocks, having previously won both meetings between the sides this campaign.

"It's very special for the club and all the individuals on the team," said Macaulay. "Yes, we're winning a title now with the guys you see in yellow, but you've got to remember the people who helped us get here along the way."

WBBL Cup Final

In the Women’s final, the Sheffield Hatters beat the Sevenoaks Suns thanks to a last-second three-pointer from Helen Naylor.

The Hatters were led by MVP Sarah Toeaina’s 15 points and 13 rebounds, in a game they lead for almost the entire game, bar a blip in the fourth quarter which saw the Suns overturn a deficit which was up to 12 points in the third quarter. A Jess Good three-pointer gave Sevenoaks the lead before relinquishing it shortly afterwards thanks to a strong response from Sheffield.

A Cat Carr shot with 7.4 seconds remaining appeared to give Sevenoaks the title before Naylor hit the game winner with just 0.9 seconds remaining, ensuring victory for the Hatters.

“We fought for one another and today we went to battle,” said Toeaina. “Sevenoaks were a well-coached team and never went away. But, to persevere and push through definitely paid off in the end.”

0 Comments | Posted in Basketball Molten By Jack Dinning

GM & Dan Lawrence Team Up

Thursday, 24 January 2019 11:14:44 Europe/London

Gunn & Moore is delighted to announce the signing of Dan Lawrence who has committed to using GM products for the 2019 season and beyond.

"I am really excited to join Team GM and I can't wait to get going this English summer, using some quality kit and hopefully scoring a lot of runs,” said Lawrence. “Seeing the bats that my club captain Ryan ten Doeschate and Tom Westley keep receiving made the move to GM a sensible choice. I am looking forward to going up to GM HQ in Nottingham to spend time with the craftsmen and women, and the rest of the team to get the best kit available moving forward."

Lawrence is one of the England's brightest prospects, having made his debut in 2015 at just 17 years old. In just his second First Class match he made a chanceless 161 against Surrey, announcing himself to the cricketing world by being the third youngest centurion in the County Championship’s long history, Essex’s youngest ever first-class centurion and the youngest centurion at The Oval.

Since then, Lawrence has continuously proven himself at the professional level, culminating in him winning Young Cricketer of the Year by the Cricket Writers' in 2017 as his newly-promoted Essex side won the County Championship for the first time in 25 years. That season saw him score 761 runs at an average of 44.76, including three pivotal hundreds.

"I could not be happier to bring Dan Lawrence to Gunn & Moore. Dan, in my eyes, is a real diamond of a cricketer, he really excites me and is well established as a main stay in the Essex 1st team,” said GM's Head of Sponsorship, Richard Harris. “Dan definitely has the potential to play international cricket and we hope we can assist him in achieving this goal. He has a certain flair that is suited to all forms of cricket and his current First Class record speaks for itself, with 7 first class hundreds in just 40 games as a 21-year-old.  Hopefully this year, with the help of the Noir L555 DXM, we will get to watch Dan fly."

The Essex prodigy will be hoping to emulate his County and GM teammate, Tom Westley, who represented the England Test side in 2017. Having already made his England u19 and England Lions debut, Lawrence is already well on his way to making it at the highest level.

Comments | Posted in GM Cricket By Jack Dinning

Trent Bridge Double Signing!

Thursday, 17 January 2019 11:44:29 Europe/London

Gunn and Moore are delighted to welcome Nottinghamshire CCC Captain, Steven Mullaney to the GM family, who has signed a deal to use GM equipment for the upcoming 2019 season.

The Outlaws all-rounder was named captain in 2018, taking over from the recently-retired Chris Read, having proved himself to be one of the most consistent and versatile players in the country, a reputation which earned him the honour of being named England Lions captain in their recent series against India A and West Indies A last summer.

SteveMullaney

"I am delighted to bring Steven to Gunn & Moore. In Steven we are signing a very good, versatile, all round cricketer who plays in all forms of domestic cricket and a big influence in the Nottinghamshire dressing room,” said Head of Sponsorship, Richard Harris. “Steven follows a long line of Nottinghamshire captains to use GM equipment, including Reg Simpson, Stephen Fleming, Tim Robinson, Chris Read & Jason Gallian. On behalf of the whole Gunn & Moore we look forward to welcoming Steven into the GM Family. In 2018, you will see Steven gracing Trent Bridge with the Noir L555 DXM LE."

In 2010 Mullaney switched to The Outlaws from Lancashire where he added his name to the small list of Nottinghamshire players to score a century on his first-class debut for the county, when he made exactly 100 not out against Hampshire at The Rose Bowl. To date he has scored over 6,500 runs and taken almost 100 wickets in First Class cricket, a CV that will no doubt continue to flourish with his new GM equipment.

Mullaney’s signing is just another indication of the strong relationship between GM and Nottinghamshire CCC, as both parties have agreed to extend the existing partnership agreement.

Under the terms of the deal, Nottinghamshire will expand their retail range to include Gunn and Moore bats and protective equipment and an extended range will be made available on the Trent Bridge website from February.

“Gunn and Moore remain the standard bearer in cricket and the history of our Club is inextricably linked to theirs,” said Nottinghamshire’s Commercial Director Michael Temple. “We’re delighted to extend our partnership and look forward to putting their bats in the hands of young cricketers across the county.”

The existing Partnership already sees GM provide equipment to the Club’s coaching staff, as well as the Club’s Academy and Age Group cricketers.

“We’re delighted to be able to extend our relationship with Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club and further strengthen the link between two world renowned names in the game of cricket,” said GM’s Marketing Manager, Tom Coffey. “The 2019 season has a huge amount of promise both on and off the field, which we're all really excited about."

0 Comments | Posted in GM Cricket By Jack Dinning

George Hankins Switches To GM

Monday, 14 January 2019 15:14:32 Europe/London

Gunn & Moore are thrilled to welcome George Hankins to the GM family for the 2019 season.

The Gloucestershire batsman has made a long-term commitment to use GM equipment as he aims to cement his place in the County side in all three formats with the help of the Mythos L540 DXM.

GeorgeHankins

"I am delighted to finally get George at GM,” said Head of Sponsorship at GM, Richard Harris. “George is someone we have tracked for a couple of years and we really think he has the ability to kick on and play at the highest level. I'm sure after a frustrating year on the sidelines with a knee injury, he will be ready to make a few big scores in the early part of the season, which will set George up nicely for white ball cricket. We wish George all the best moving forward and welcome him to GM.”

The 22-year-old former schoolboy prodigy announced his arrival on the County scene with a 116 in 2016 against Northants and his stock continues to rise after finishing last year’s top run-scorer in the Royal London One-Day Cup, with 291 runs at an average of 58.20 and a high score of 92 against Kent.

"I am excited to join up with GM for the start of the 2019 season and looking forward to play with this prestigious cricket brand,” said Hankins. “I very much look forward to being able to come up to Nottingham and visit the factory to see my bats made first-hand, a process I have heard a lot about."

His white ball performances in 2018 earned him a two-year extension with Gloucester and a call-up to the ECB XI to face a strong India A side, adding to his previous appearances for the England u19 Development side and the England u-19s, for whom he earned Player of the Series in a limited-overs series against Sri Lanka in 2016.

0 Comments | Posted in GM Cricket By Jack Dinning

Sam Robson Joins GM

Monday, 14 January 2019 09:06:07 Europe/London

Gunn & Moore is delighted to announce that Middlesex and England opening batsman Sam Robson has signed a long-term deal to use GM equipment for the upcoming season 2019 season and beyond.

The Middlesex vice-captain already has one of the most enviable cricket CV’s in the County game with 21 First Class hundreds, including a Test Match hundred against Sri Lanka in just his third international innings.

"I'm excited to be using such a famous name as Gunn & Moore,” said Robson. “After having a tour of the factory and meeting Richard and the team, I can't wait to get out there for Middlesex in April using Gunn & Moore bats."

Robson represented Australia at u-19 level, but it was England that came calling in 2014 thanks to a lengthy run of form, notching 1,300 runs in the 2013 season at an average of 47. To date he has earned 7 Test caps for England scoring 336 runs against Sri Lanka and India, a record he is keen to add to with the help of the new Noir L555 DXM.

"We are naturally delighted to have the chance to work with Sam moving forward,” said Richard Harris, GM’s Head of Sponsorship. “Sam has the ability to score a huge number of domestic runs and we look forward to providing him with the tools to achieve his goal of playing international cricket again."

In 2016 he was pivotal in Middlesex’s County Championship title win, scoring 899 runs at an average of 45 with three hundreds, including his highest First Class score of 231. The 29-year-old also holds a unique record, having scored the earliest First Class hundred in the UK and the first in March, against Durham MCCU on 31 March 2012.

2019 promises to be a big season for Robson and Middlesex as they seek promotion back to Division One of the County Championship. He will take the field alongside his captain and fellow GM teammate Dawid Malan, as the pair hope to lead the way for their side with the help of the new GM 2019 range.

Comments | Posted in GM Cricket By Jack Dinning
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