SWINDON Shock player-coach David Colclough admits he had a sigh of relief after his side clinched an 81-80 win over Essex Blades.

After making the trip and having a late tip-off, Colclough’s troops made a quick start to the game as they led by a point at the end of the first quarter.

Their quick start continued as they built a 19-point gap between themselves and their hosts by the halfway stage.

Antonio Wilburn starred once again for Shock as he put up 39 points, while Matt Ford and Dom Sajovic weighed in with 11 each.

While his side wilted in the latter stages of the game, Wilburn made the most of his two free throws at the end of the final quarter to pinch a victory.

“For some reason I think we want to sabotage ourselves, it was all too familiar. I think there have been three games this season where we have fallen apart even though we were in control,” he said.

“Fortunately for us, Matt Ford and Antonio made all of their free throws to get the win.

“It was a nice crowd, a nice stadium and we started slow in the third quarter. In that time we missed 10 of 12 free throws.

“In the stretch, Antonio got fouled with 10 or 15 seconds left and made both of his shots to lead by three.

“After that they tried desperately to get a three. All I wanted was for us to let them get two points because then we would have the ball from them.

“They couldn’t hit a three, then one of their guys decided to drive to the basket for two points and we moved out of the way, then the clock ran out.”

With a three-hour journey back to Swindon waiting for them after the game, the Shock chief was delighted the trip wasn’t a disappointing one.

“That was a long drive to do on the back of a loss,” he said. “We tipped off at 7pm in Essex, so it took us more than three hours to get there.

“We didn’t get home until about midnight, it was just one of those ones which would have been a brutal drive had we lost. It was a nice feeling for once, and I think it has brought everyone’s confidence back.”