After a tough home win last week, the Eagles were back on the road on Sunday to take on a tough Lancashire Spinners team. The Eagles were again without a full team but had 10 players travelling for this fixture. The Eagles only won by 8 the initial matchup and knew this was a key game for position in the playoffs.
The Eagles hit first in the first quarter with the teams going back and forth in quick succession. However, both teams were playing high intensity defence and were struggling to convert their opportunities at the basket. After 5mins the score was an even 4 all. The second 5 for the Eagles came out with high intensity on the defensive end which led to turnovers and scoring opportunities. They too were however struggling to convert and only managed to carve out a slim 11-4 lead.
In the second quarter, the Eagles started the strongest and further increased their lead to go up 16-6 after the first 5 minutes. The away team were working hard on the defensive end and were allowing Lancashire very little opportunities. The start of the second 5 minutes was Lancashire Spinners’ turn to put the Eagles under pressure and it was their turn to cause turnovers and get easy scores to close the lead to 5. A quick regroup by the Eagles however saw them get through the Spinners’ press at ease and go on a 12-0 lead to go up 28-11 at the half.
Last time these teams met, the Eagles had held a strong lead and the Spinners came straight back into the game after the half. The Eagles therefore knew they would need a strong third quarter. The start of the period saw the teams go back and forth with their scores, but the Eagles were doing a great job at containing the Spinners’ top scorer. This spurred the team to pick up their defence and in the last 5 minutes of the quarter the Eagles went on a 15-2 run to blow out the game and lead 49-19 into the last 10 minutes.
At the start of the fourth quarter, concentration lapses for the Eagles cost them on the defensive end and they allowed Lancashire to go on a small runs of their own. They managed to pick up their intensity however and they closed out the game on an 8-0 run to close the game out 63-31 winners.
It was a great team performance by the Eagles who were led by their impressive defence which led to easy scores and an even spread of scores by the whole team. A fantastic third quarter allowed them to run away with the game and get, in the end, an easy win. It is a credit to the girls on how far they have come that they managed this performance against a well organised and drilled team away from home. Next up for the Eagles is a real test with them coming up against first place and undefeated Manchester Mystics team. The Mystics first team have been winning games by an average of 79 points this season and this will be a tough game for the Eagles.
Scorers: Yemisi Mefful – 13 points, Lauren Bird – 11 points, Izzy Jonas – 9 points