IT took a second half fightback from the Bandits to secure a place in the knockout rounds of the Exeter & District Cup.

The away side had to weather a fourth-quarter siege to cling on to what was an invaluable 10-point advantage at the start of the round.

Coach Chris Canham was always confident of the Bandits’ capabilities.

He said: “Despite being down at halfway, I knew that if we continued to play our style of basketball that we would come through to win.”

With a number of key absentees, no win away from home thus far and Taunton in winning form, the task looked daunting.

Taunton began well, but when six of the seven Weymouth players put points on the board, the score at the end of the first quarter was only marginally in the home side’s favour.

Having stuck to their game plan, Weymouth MVP Vitoldas Balciunas, Andy Steel and Jim de Bertrand earned points while Jake Kinder and Simon Dean made baskets from range.

However, anything they were doing, Taunton replied just as emphatically, ending the half 38-34 to the hosts.

The pendulum swing came after Taunton’s shots from range faltered and Manley and Canham punished their defensive errors.

The counter-attack proved a devastating tactic and, with a 10-point gap between the two sides, it set up a frantic final quarter. However, Taunton did not do enough to close the gap, meaning an injury-rocked Weymouth secured the win.

Bandits: Vitoldas Balciunas 20, Jake Kinder 17, Andy Steel 13, Jim de Bertrand 9, Ian Manley 9, Simon Dean 6, Chris Canham 4.