A LARGE band of travelling Worcester Wolves fans were sent into raptures of delight after witnessing their team storm through to January’s BBL Cup final in Birmingham.

Wolves took a 102-92 advantage into their deciding second leg semi-final at Sheffield Sharks last night and duly increased their aggregate score to 173-157 following a thrilling 71-65 victory.

Head coach Paul James emerged from the post-match celebrations to describe his delight at seeing his side give themselves a chance of their first silverware since play-off final success at Wembley Arena in 2014.

He said: “Everyone so wanted this, we’re ecstatic. Our mind-set was always to come here for the win and not just rely on our first-leg lead.

“We’ve put a really good team together this season and I’m just so pleased to see some reward for everyone who has contributed to the club.

“I especially can’t thank the people enough who travelled up to Sheffield. They made it almost like a home game for us.

"They silenced the Sheffield supporters and gave us a big lift.

“When we came out on court and saw how many people were behind us it made us even more determined to win.

“Hopefully when we go to Birmingham next month it’s going to be a massive Worcester contingent there to see us get the job done.”

Wolves opened the evening in blistering fashion. Dallin Bachynski swatted away Sheffield’s first shot attempt before slamming the ball home at the other end.

Two more baskets for the Worcester centre prompted a Sharks time-out after barely a couple of minutes had elapsed.

It would take five minutes before the hosts could score from the field by which time Wolves led 14-4 to double their aggregate advantage.

Sharks put forward their own scoring burst to edge 17-16 ahead at the close of the first quarter and a more even contest now ensued.

Five points from Trayvon Palmer moved Wolves back in front before Sheffield veteran Mike Tuck levelled matters at 21-21.

The teams were still tied together at 31-31 before Wolves captain Ashton Khan nudged his side ahead at the half-time break.

The visitors threatened to break away at 37-31 after another Khan basket but consecutive Sharks three-pointers once more closed the gap.

Worcester fans were brought to their feet as the last quarter opened when Robert Gilchrist threw down a ferocious alley-oop after an across-the-court lob by Elvisi Dusha.

Teamwork again came to the fore midway through the period.

A mesmerising assist from Bachynski froze Sheffield defenders and allowed a wide-open dunk for Palmer pushing Wolves 61-56 ahead.

Alex Navajas chose to introduce himself to the scoreboard with just three minutes to go and his side now bouncing to an almost-decisive 66-58 advantage.

Any lingering doubts about victory were dispelled when repeated optimistic long-range Sheffield attempts went awry and submission was finally accepted.

Palmer led the scoring with 18 points followed by Bachynski with 14.

Khan and George Beamon tallied 10 points apiece.

Wolves will face a quick double of post-Christmas matches next week.

On Thursday they travel to Plymouth Raiders before returning to the University of Worcester Arena on the Friday to greet Surrey Scorchers (7.30pm).

James added: “The players will now have a few days off but will then get ready for two important games.

"We want to finish this month off in the right way.

“We’re not satisfied yet with what we’ve done so far. We want to round out 2017 with two really good wins.”