In their third game of the season the Newcastle Eagles were taking on the Manchester Mystics for their first big game of the season. The Mystics teams are famously difficult to beat and the Eagles have over the years been on the end of a few heavy losses and were looking to show what they were capable of against one of the league’s strongest teams.
In the first quarter the Eagles started strong and some good execution of their offensive plays gave them a few easy baskets at the rim. The scores went back and forth with the Eagles showing some strong defence and ability to contend on both ends of the floor. At the end of the first the Mystics had a slim 12-11 lead.
Over the years the issue has always been to maintain their performance against a tough Manchester defence with lapses causing Manchester to have strong runs. The start of the second quarter was therefore a familiar sight with the Mystics going on an 8-0 run and looking to run away with the game. However the Eagles dug in and managed to break the Manchester press easily to get a few quick baskets to tie the scores up 23-23 with 2 minutes left in the half. After the hard work to get back in the game, the Eagles had a couple of poor defensive possessions which allowed Mystics to nail three threes and give Manchester a 32-23 lead at the half.
It was a disappointing end to the half but the Eagles team looked to hit back strong in the third quarter but again some strong play by Mystics maintained their advantage and gave them a 47-34 lead going into the fourth.
In the fourth quarter the Eagles showed great fighting spirit and managed to finish the game on a 12-0 run to close the gap to 6 points. They however sadly ran out of time to mount a full comeback and fell 58-52.
It was an extremely encouraging performance by the Eagles who put up their best score ever against Manchester and fell just short of the victory. It gives them great confidence going into the season and being able to make the playoffs this year.
Next up for the Eagles is one of the league’s academies Myerscough College Spinners in what will be a tough game.
Top Scorers: Orieoma Chukwu-Etu 24, Ana Amezaga Kutija 8, Livia Merle 7