SPARTANS basketball team beat Swindon Shock 86-64 as their preparations for the new season continued.

Spartans play at the LQ Arena, Windermere Way, Stourport, and will compete in the National League Division Three for the first time this term.

With captain Aaron Branch injured and supporting from the bench, the Wyre Forest side took the opportunity to test themselves against opposition from their new level.

Early dominance of the court led to quick scores from Sam Coles and some strong points from Matt Catlow once the team was warmed up.

A lead of 30-14 at the first break reflected their superior play, but wasn't yet enough to sit comfortably on.

The second quarter continued in the same style with the introduction of three new signings - Mo Adepoju, Tamir Rahman and Gareth John each bringing their own style and points to the game.

Although it took some time to regain momentum in the second half, a stern talking to from head coach Matt Coles and the introduction of the more experienced Lee Clark brought some zip back to the Spartans game as they regained dominance of the boards. They maintained their early lead as the end of the third quarter saw the score at 70-48.

The final quarter had Spartans work the ball well as their fitness started to show, with Rahman returning to show how his size can dominate the key.

Swindon battled to the end and prevented Spartans from building further on their half-time lead. The final score of 86-64 proved a true representation of the game.

Although Catlow and Coles dominated the scoreboard, the spread of points across the team showed Spartans have strength in depth heading into their first season playing in the national structure. After two tough games against higher level opposition, this final pre-season test against opposition registered in a peer division has shown them capable at this level.

This season will be the first time national basketball will be played in Wyre Forest. They will start the new campaign at home against Sheffield Sabres on October 20 at 5.30pm.

Those interested in playing are also invited to check out the training times for under-9s, under-11s, under-13s, under-15s, under-17s, men's and women's teams on the club website at