There are few sights in sport more rewarding than a three-pointer dropping cleanly through the hoop. We're talking basketball here, and the long shots that hit the mark came from the deft fingers of Trey Moore and James Jones as Everton Tigers pulled off one of the sporting achievements of the year to win the British Basketball Championship final last night.
Persuading that ball to pass through the hoop for two points is tough enough from close quarters, but when a player takes the gamble and goes for three from further out it is a sweet sensation.
And just as sweet that Everton Tigers should win a title when logic said they had no right even to be there. The Tigers were hit by significant financial problems back in September. So massive credit is due not just to the players and their coach Tony Garbelotto but also to the club's general manager John Cooper and backer Martyn Best of Liverpool PR firm Paver Smith.
I was watching from the heart of the Tigers support at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham as Everton trampled all over their underdog status and gave opponents Glasgow Rocks a similar hammering. As an object lesson in taking a game by the scruff of the neck this could not be bettered. With Garbelotto prowling the sidelines like a demented tarantula they were up 23-9 after the first quarter and 45-28 at half-time. Then the Rocks rolled back to wipe out the deficit and, early in the final quarter, take the lead. Momentum now with the Scots and their kilted followers? No way. The Tigers dug deep for one last time, Moore sank another three-pointer and it was all over.
Back in the 1980s James Jones's dad Jeff was a quality performer with a previous incarnation of basketball on Merseyside. The then Liverpool Basketball Club, brainchild of a sports scientist Vaughan Thomas and an incorrigible optimist Colin Bentley, created a real buzz. It didn't last and it would be naive to assume that yesterday's result in Birmingham will guarantee the new team eternal life either. But sport is about seizing the day, and this day, this season, belongs to the Everton Tigers.