Solent Kestrels U18s are heading to the National Basketball League Final Fours in Sheffield on May 4 after a brilliant win over Birmingham As at Barton Peveril College on Saturday.

A magnificent defensive performance from the entire Kestrels team against this year’s Sureshot National Cup winners saw the hosts head in to the locker room at half time with a 40-22 lead.

Elliot James and Benjy Kirkman led the Kestrels with 19 points, six rebounds, two steals and 12 points, four rebounds, two steals respectively. George Ivens was a monster on the boards, pulling down 12 rebounds and adding nine points and Dan Hemingway put in a great performance from the bench with nine points and nine rebounds. Floor general and point guard Harry Cox was impressive and tireless throughout – he played the whole 40 minutes of the game – and there was no way back for Birmingham who fought hard in the second half to close the gap but could never get within 10 and the game ended with a 58-44 win for Solent.

l The Solent Kestrels are holding their annual trials, which are open to all, on June 8 at Quilley School. See for full details.