In the penultimate game of the season, the Eagles were taking on the younger Tameside team away from home. Due to injuries they, again, only had 10 players available. They had won the reverse fixture by a large margin but knew it could be very different away from home.
The start of the game saw the Eagles start with good intensity on the defensive end. They were creating numerous turnovers but were finding it difficult to finish at the rim. Tameside were also playing some aggressive defence, and this was causing issues for the Eagles. After the first 5 minutes, the away team led 6-2. The second five showed a little more composure on the offensive end and managed to convert more of their opportunities to start building a more comprehensive lead. They led 16-3 after the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the first five continued their impressive defence and this time they were able to convert more of their layups to go on a 16-0 run. In reverse of the first quarter it was now the 2nd five’s turn to struggle with their finishing. At the half the Eagles had a 38-5 lead.
In the second half, the Eagles continued their dominance and even with a drop into half-court defence, they were able to cause turnovers at ease and then finish on the offensive end. At times, like in the first half the Eagles missed some easy opportunities, but they were getting multiple chances at the rim and were able to take a 63-7 lead into the last 10 minutes.
In the last quarter, a few players for Tameside fouled out which caused some tiredness on their end. They had battled hard all game but were simply outclassed by an older Eagles team. With four minutes to go, the Eagles had gone on another run to lead 79-9. The last few minutes of the game was a scrappy affair for both teams with multiple turnovers and the Eagles now failing to convert their layups. In the end, the game finished with the Eagles taking the 83-9 win.
It was a good win by the Eagles who replicated the score from the initial fixture at the start of the season. Tameside were at times very aggressive on the defensive end and did cause the Eagles some issues, especially while contesting layups and shots which is not reflected in the score. Eagles were ultimately stronger than their opponents. However, they do know that they will need to execute better in future against tougher playoff opposition.
Next up for the Eagles is their last league game of the season against City of Leeds. The Eagles won the initial fixture comfortably but will not underestimate their opponents going into this game. They know they must put in a strong performance in preparation for their playoff game on the 30th of March.
Scorers: Yemisi Mefful – 31 points, Izzy Jonas – 12 points, Esra Kandemir, Ana Zheng & Abby Foster – 8 points