COCK-a-hoop .... that was the reaction of the members of a young basketball team after a resounding success in the first tournament they have ever played against opposition of their own age.

The Sidcup-based Toyota Braves were only formed in April of last year and, under the shrewd guidance of veteran

senior coach John Blundell, have gone from strength to strength.

The Braves, who train at Greenwich Universitys Avery Hill campus, have struggled to find suitable opposition but have acquitted themselves well against teams usually one or two years older.

Their sponsors, Sidcup car firm Toyota McCarthy, sponsored the tournament held in the Erith School and Community Sports Centre in which five teams took part - two from the Braves and Bickley, as well as the Warriors from Maidstone.

Mr Blundell said: "It was a very encouraging result. We have found it hard to find teams in the 9-10 age group, and to win our first trophy on home ground was superb."

The competition was run in two phases - seven cross-court games and three on the full-size court. The Braves and Bickley both had A and B teams, and the Sidcup team won the Toyota Challenge Shield by virtue of winning six matches.

Most of the Braves players attend Burnt Oak Mixed Junior School in Sidcup, and their captain Thomas Hearn is Mr Blundells grandson.

Other members of the squad who took part in the competition were Stuart Wilson, Luke George, Thomas Greening, Luke Mason, Elliott Neat, Jack Tidiman, James Gatehouse, Shane Dancey, Daniel Dark, Lee Garlick and Harry Bigsby-Thompson, plus mascot Kieron Dancey.

Players from all five teams received medals from Steve Walker, general manager of Toyota McCarthy in Sidcup.

Mr Blundell added: "We have ambitious plans and are planning to stage tournaments at Avery Hill and at the Glaxo Welcome Sports Centre in Dartford."

If anybody is interested in finding out more about the club, call Mr Blundell on 0208 8300 4730.