In the first game of 2018, the Newcastle Eagles team were taking on Stockport Lapwings in a first game of an away back to back trip. They knew they would be in for a tough game after a disappointing 1 point loss in their first meeting of the season. With both teams with equal records, it was an important game for the Eagles to win to keep their playoff hopes alive.
The game started with the teams exchanging quick baskets before the Eagles went on a mini run to push out the score 14-6. Some lapses defensively however let Stockport finish the quarter strong and go into the second leading 15-14.
Some good movement offensively and a few fast break lay ups allowed the Eagles to rebuild their lead and a more solid performance defensively limited Stockport to only 6 points in the quarter. At the half the Eagles were leading 30-21.
A strong start to the third quarter offensively by the Eagles pushed the lead out to 41-24 with some excellent ball movement on show and forcing Stockport to come out of their second half zone. Stockport tried to hit back with some good drives to the basket taking advantage off some poor defensive rotations by the Eagles. Both teams traded baskets with the Eagles going into the fourth quarter with a 50-32 lead.
The fourth quarter kept the trend of trading baskets and with 6 mins to go the Eagles were leading 57-36. To their credit Stockport kept fighting and put on a strong effort to mount a comeback with a 8-0 run however in the end the Eagles were too strong and finished the game 61-48 winners.
It was a scrappy win for the Eagles who struggled to put in a consistent performance defensively and who were struggling with a few illnesses. However they showed great character to grind out a tough away win against tough and well-drilled opposition.
Next up for the Eagles is the top of the league Charnwood for their second game of the weekend before facing a Shefffield Hatters team next week who they are contending with for playoff position.
Top Scorers: Sally Mills 17, Orieoma Chukwu-Etu 16, Ana Amezaga Kutija 8