Saturday 18th November saw the Eagles U16s take on Trafford Magic at home. Both sides had been struggling for form prior to this game and it was a big match for both teams.
Trafford would start the game the brighter, going on a 7-0 run. The Eagles wouldn’t allow this poor start to panic them and after three minutes in the quarter Mamuini would find an opening to get the home team on the scoreboard. The Eagles were now beginning to move the ball well in the half court and pushing the ball with real intent in transition. This renewed vigour on offence saw them level the scores up at 12-12 with three minutes remaining in the quarter. After a timeout from the visiting team the hosts would push on. The Eagles would finish the quarter on an 8-2 run to go into the second up seven 20-13.
The second quarter was another strong one for the home side. Both teams would score more freely as a number of missed rotations on defence saw both sides getting to the hoop for some easy finishes. Despite winning the quarter 26-22, the Eagles would find themselves starting to get into some foul trouble with Kande, Proctor and Bond all picking up three fouls before halftime. At the half the Eagles led by 11 (46-35).
The third quarter was where this game was ultimately lost. The home side would really struggle at both ends of the floor as foul trouble meant the constant rotation of personnel. Trafford would also come out fighting; they increased the intensity on defence and began to dominate the boards on both ends of the floor. Despite losing their lead and ultimately going into the fourth down by 10, the home side still believed they could get themselves back into this game. (7-28) (53-63).
Going into the fourth the Eagles would rally. Trafford would score first, making a free throw to increase their lead to 11. Over the next four minutes the Eagles would begin to chip away at the Magic’s lead. Scores for Kande and Bond alongside a huge three for Jones would get the hosts to within four points 68-72. Sadly that was as close as the Eagles would get. Some ill discipline late on saw the away side get a couple of open shots and after converting them, the visitors lead was back at nine. A score for Mamuini would reduce Trafford’s lead to seven but time would run out and the Eagles would eventually lose 70-77 (17-14).
Newcastle Eagles U16 Head Coach Sam Roxborough said after the game, “we competed really well for 3 quarters. Sadly a poor third quarter, brought on by some serious foul trouble cost us big style and ultimately we need to play for the full 40 minutes to win games at this level. We now have a weekend off before another big home game against Cheshire Wire; we will go back to the drawing board and be ready to fight hard in two weeks time”.
Scorers: Mamuini 21, Kande 13, Bond 13, Jones 9, Fetherston 7, Lewis 4, Proctor 3