Amber Valley Spartans pull off a cracker before Christmas break

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Kyle Henderson’s reign as Amber Valley Spartans coach got off to a winning start against Chilwell Comets on Friday night.

Former coach Mark Woodhouse wanted to commit his time more to the playing side for the first team and taking full coaching responsibility for the Spartan second team.

“I was finding it much tougher than I thought being the player coach of the first team,” said Woodhouse. “Kyle is a very experienced player and coach and this decision was in the best interests of the clubs future.

“I can now focus on being the best player I can under coach Henderson and more importantly continuing the development of club by coaching the second team.”

The first fixture away at Chilwell earlier in the season was a very one-sided affair.

The Spartans came away from that bout with a comfortable 30 point victory. Since then, the Comets have become much more consistent and settled in their style of play and have put together a good string of results.

This game was a much more competitive affair. It was a very physical contest from the outset with neither team really taking a full hold of the game.

The second quarter went in the Spartans favour however as they begin to build a double digit lead on the back of numerous fast break scores.

It appeared that the game was unquestionable by the end of the first half, but the experienced and talented Chilwell side refused to see the game slip away as they did in their previous battle.

Strong inside play combined with long range shooting saw them slowly chip away at the lead, and the Spartans only held on to a 4 point advantage going into the game’s final quarter.

Stern words from new coach Kyle Henderson saw the home side make more precise decisions on the offensive end of the floor and Comets appeared to run out of steam.

The lead gradually opened up again and the final score saw Amber Valley win 62-45.

This was to be the final game of 2015 for the Spartans the season resumes in the New Year with the Sherwood League cup fixtures opening up the first of the action.

The Spartans sit third in the league table with a record of five wins, three losses to open up their first competitive season.