With the increasingly fragile Weeks, R having succumbed to a suspicious Achilles enthesopathy only one game into his comeback (urethral swab result pending), the injury-riddled Fish limped onto court 2 for their first ever game against traditional rivals, the ironically-named 'Air Supreme'.
The courage of the Black Fish in even putting together 5 players brought a lump to the throat, and certainly drew a large crowd. While Goodwife Whittle resumed scoring duties, it was the courtside debut of future cheerleader Immi Noutz that had tongues wagging. Her magnificent work with cries of 'Mighty Black Fish' inspired all of the on-court contingent (and undoubtedly threatened the incredibly physically unimposing 'Air Supreme'), while her use of the clappers reminded us all of Richard's 'injury'.
The game started with a high level of intensity, no better characterised than by 'Wrecking Ball' Noutz's 4 fouls within the first 16 seconds of the first half. Despite dominating play across the court, the Fish found it difficult to impose themselves on the scoreboard in the first half. The brave decision by Supreme's chief playmaker to take every shot despite his slightly worrisome zero percent from the floor may have contributed slightly to the Fish's narrow half-time lead.
The second half was highlighted by several atypical events, and one very typical event.
Typically, the Fish regrouped at the long break and came out firing. The game was effectively over within minutes of the second half as the mighty mighty Black Fish dominated play and drew away to a clear lead.
Less typically, 'Runaway Train' Noutz managed to survive the whole game without accruing another foul (but still steamrolled a few of the little 'Supremes' who sorely deserved it).
Even more bizarrely, the Supremes, having established an unassailable deficit, and giving away several hundred kilograms to the Fish at the pre-bout weigh-in, decided to impose themselves physically on the encounter. What followed was a series of dissatisfying minor stoushes, mostly featuring weak pushing and a bit of scratching by the Supremes. The Fish took the moral high ground and simply ground out an impressive 28-8 victory.
All five Fish players contributed magnificently to the percentage-boosting victory: Nissen's defensive game continues to impress, Noutz was a massive physical presence (and has a sweet touch from the charity stripe), Rodgers, N continued his role as Chairman of the Boards, Whittle salvaged an unimpressive game with a huge three-pointer (and excessive celebration) at the buzzer, while Edwards played possibly his finest game in a stellar Black Fish career, his solid defence and smooth moves in the offensive keyway setting up the team's massive victory. A fine effort by all.
Don't miss this week's huge clash as the Fish resume hostilities with the Monchhichis.