Manchester Giants 40 v Newcastle Eagles 57
Starting 5 Luke Tucker, Billy Crawshaw, Alfie Rhodes, Lewis Pinnock, Tyler Cadete
Newcastle Eagles won the tip and set off on what would be a fast paced game from start to finish. Both teams ran end to end as they sized each other up and it was Manchester to strike first making a 2 point basket. The Eagles defence stepped up their game and the duo of Billy Crawshaw and Luke Tucker brough the ball from the Manchester end allowing Billy to get Newcastle’s scoring underway. A rattled Manchester tried several shots at the basket but the Eagles defence stood strong and sent the ball back to the Eagles end and an assist from Luke Tucker allowed Lewis Pinnock to get his name on the score sheet with a 3 point shot. And easy Manchester basket was quickly answered by Billy Crawshaw with a basket of his own. Manchester were the first to find themselves on the free-throw line but were unable to take advantage. Harry Merrifield was next to get his name on the scoresheet for the Eagles, this however, was quickly answered by Manchester. Luke Tucker hit a corner 3 to push the Eagles back into the lead and the Crawshaw Tucker duo swung into action once again as a steal from Luke sent the ball to a waiting Billy for another 2 points. A foul sent Joseph Flint to the free-throw line for the Eagles for 1 point and the Eagles lead extended and the quarter ended 11-16 in Newcastle’s favour.
Quarter 2 started the way the first quarter ended with the Eagles defence denying Manchester shot after shot however a foul call saw Manchester on the free-throw line for 1 point. End to end play followed and a long pass down the court enabled Harry Merrifield to break the scoring drought. Billy Crawshaw added another to his tally but again Manchester quickly answered this with a basket of their own. Coach Darius called a quick time out and with a game plan in mind the boys headed back onto court. Harry Merrifield added a basket to his tally and the defence held Manchester at bay. After several attempts Manchester finally found a way through to add 1 more to their score line. Leo Glaholm added his name to the score sheet as the Eagles kept their lead and the quarter ended 21-25 in favour of the Eagles.
The second half started with a big block from Billy Crawshaw sending the ball down court when Lewis Pinnock added 2 points after an assist from Luke Tucker. Billy Crawshaw was next to the basket and a strong block from Luke Tucker at the Manchester end sent the ball away for a long pass down court to Lewis Pinnock who found himself on the free throw line for 2 points. Manchester found their way to the basket for 2 points of their own. An assist from Harry Merrifield led to Lewis Pinnock adding 2 more to his tally, and the Eagles defence was on show once again with a big block from Luke Tucker. Alfie Rhodes added a 3 point shot of his own with his first basket of the game. Harry Merrifield was next to find his way to the Eagles basket. An inbounded ball from Luke Tucker sent Billy Crawshaw on a full court run for 2 more points. Manchester found them selves on the free throw line once again but could not take advantage. A strong defensive display from Luke Tucker held Manchester at bay once again and the quarter ended 34 -46 in favour of your Eagles
The final quarter was opened once again by the Eagles impressive defence on show. End to end play flowed and Manchester were sent to the free thrown line where they added 2 points to their scoresheet. Manchester called a quick time out to reorganise their rattled team. The boys headed back out on court determined to end the game with a flourish. A long pass down court from Ewan Aditjandra saw Harry Merrifield sent to the free throw line once again for 1 point. Luke Tuckers defence saw the ball sent back down the court and after a sprint down to the other end Luke found himself heading to the free throw line for 2 more points for his total. Manchester became more and more frustrated and strayed into foul trouble. Billy Crawshaw added yet another to his impressive total. Arran Dower was not to be outdone and added and And 1 basket of his own. Hayden Watson, making his debut on the Academy Team scored his first basket of the season. The final play of the game saw Manchester step up to the free throw line however this was to little to late as the game ended 40-57 in Newcastle favour.
This was the teams final game of 2022 but they will be training hard for their return to matches in a double header weekend in January where they will visit City Of Birmingham Rockets and then host the York Eagles.