WORCESTER Wolves are closing in on a BBL Cup quarter-final place after securing victory from a hard-fought match with Bristol Flyers last night.

Wolves now sit in second place in their qualification pool with a 5-3 win-loss tally, just ahead of Bristol who hold a 4-3 record.

It was not until the last moments of the evening that a large University of Worcester Arena crowd could celebrate, having seen the home side haul back a fourth-quarter double-digit deficit to edge a 74-70 success.

Coach Matt Newby praised the fightback, saying: “It’ll hurt us in sapping our energy over the season if we have to win every game like that but it proves we’re a resilient team.

“We weren’t happy about the way we played in the first half. Ultimately we had to make some choices about how hard we wanted to play and that’s what was pointed out at half-time.

“Sometimes it’s about tactics, sometimes it’s about technique and sometimes it’s about guts. We showed guts on Friday.”

Jordan Williams profited from a double of tidy Mark Hughes assists and returned the favour to his team-mate to aid a 19-17 Worcester lead entering the second-quarter.

Cortez Edwards soon extended the advantage before having to see his team’s attack stagnate.

Flyers’ Gentrey Thomas produced a 16-point explosion in just a five-minute spell while Wolves struggled to muster less than half of that total for the remainder of the first half.

A dozen three-point attempts went up with only a single shot finding the target as Bristol established interval control at 40-28.

The visitors remained in charge after the break, accepting repeated second-chance opportunities and disrupting their hosts’ attacks.

With seven minutes left in the match Flyers still held sway at 65-54.

An Edwards drive hinted at a revival. When the same player then powered past static defenders to stuff the ball through the hoop the comeback was on.

Dutch forward Julius Van Sauers missed a free throw but his compatriot Maarten Bouwknecht snatched the rebound, dribbling out to the perimeter and confidently sinking his shot.

Bouwknecht drained another triple to tie matters at 68-68.

With Bristol now uncertain of how to fend off his sudden offensive outburst they hesitated as Bouwknecht floated a sublime pass upwards for Williams to flush through the basket.

A late flurry of successful free throws sealed the outcome.

Worcester’s American pairing of Edwards and Hughes joint-top-scored with 17 points followed by Bouwknecht and Williams taking 13 and 11 respectively.

Wolves travel to London Lions on Friday (7.30pm) for their penultimate match in the BBL Cup South Group qualifiers.

Their final fixture will be the visit of Surrey Scorchers to the University of Worcester Arena on Friday, November 15.

Finishing in one of the top two places will guarantee a last-eight match in Worcester against the third or fourth-place finisher in the BBL Cup Group North.

“Qualification now looks assured but what we really want is a home game,” said Newby.

“We have to travel to London and that won’t be easy and we then end against Surrey.

“If we get a home tie against a team from the north it’ll be anyone’s game.”