BLUE Devils played their best first half performance of the season as they competed well with third-placed Preston Pride in National League North West Conference.

With the score at 33-29, the hosts were only four points behind after 20 minutes and won the second quarter 14-11. The Bury players were prepared to take on the Preston defence one-on-one and shot well from long range.

Sam Nolan Massey was the hosts star man, who contributing 10 points in succession at the start of the second quarter.

The Preston coach had to put his starting five players back in the game near the end of the second quarter as Bury had taken the lead 29-26 and at this point the momentum swung back towards the away team.

Devils coach Stainton asked his players to respond at the half time interval but this failed to happen as Blue Devils hit the wall at both ends of the court. Turnovers and a lack of offensive penetration by Bury led to Preston winning the period 21-6.

Blue Devils did respond better in the fourth quarter, only losing this period 14-9.

Blue Devils are at league leaders Stockport Phoenix on Saturday.

Top scorers: Sam Nolan Massey 17pts, Sulaiman Qadeer 8pts, Saidul Islam/ Matt Taylor 7pts.