After a great win against Spinners last week, the Eagles were taking on the daunting task of an undefeated Manchester Mystics team away from home. Manchester have not only yet to lose a game this year but have yet to win a game by less than an 80 point margin! The Eagles therefore knew this would be an extremely tough game.
In the first 5 minutes, the Mystics started as expected at a fast pace with their intense defence giving the Eagles no opportunities to score and leading to easy baskets for them. After the first 5 minutes, the Eagles were already down 15-0. The second 5 for the Eagles picked up the intensity however and some good ball movement led to two scores by the Eagles. The second five minutes were only a 7-4 win for the Mystics but added to the first five minutes that meant the Eagles were down 26-4.
The second quarter was much of the same with the stifling Manchester defence making any options for the Eagles to score extremely difficult. On Eagles misses, Mystics were extremely efficient at getting down the floor and scoring easy lay-ups. On top of this, the team top of the league has great depth and all players are as strong as each other. An only score in the half with a tough jump shot gave the Eagles points on the board in the quarter but the Eagles went into the half with a 55-6 deficit.
In the second half, the Eagles knew this game was over but were looking to get as much out of this game as possible. They were still struggling to contain the Manchester fast breaks however their offence was more organised and some good movement and cutting created some good opportunities for them. The scores at one point went back and forth and the Eagles fell in this quarter to a more respectable 21-10.
In the fourth quarter, the Eagles showed some great fighting spirit and were creating the easier opportunities and getting some crucial scores. The Eagles knew if they could execute offensively, they would be able to slow down the Manchester fast breaking and easy scores. They did just that in this quarter and with 3 minutes to go the score was 10-10. Tiredness then kicked in a little for the Eagles and the Mystics finished the game on an 11-2 run to win the quarter 21-12 and the match 97-28.
It was a tough away game for the Eagles with them coming up against an undefeated Mystics team who are incredibly strong and well organised. It was good to see where they matched up against such strong opposition and a spirited performance in the second half bodes well for the future. Even with the score being such a large margin, it was, the closest game Manchester have had this year and their coach was very complimentary of the Eagles players’ performance and attitude.
Next up for the Eagles is an easier home tie against Tameside Royals White.
Scorers: Judy Eladawy – 8 points, Yemisi Mefful – 6 points, Olivia Weymes & Lauren Bird – 4 points