U16 Boys impressive National Cup run ends in Manchester
The U16 boys were taken down 109-57 by the still unbeaten Northern Premier leaders and a frontrunner to the National Cup, Manchester Magic.
Mirroring the kind of margin that was witnessed earlier in the season in the league meeting between the teams, the Eagles’ Cup run ended in their fourth game in the competition.
Having enjoyed a very nice start and even taking the lead at 8-7, the Eagles were undone in a challenging six-minute spell when Magic put on 32-7 run to end a difficult first period. Exploiting a lack of communication in the visitors’ defence and their inability to look after the ball, they converted a flurry of back door scores and fast-breaks.
Yet to their credit, the Eagles not only picked themselves up off the floor from a terrible situation, but they punched back hard. So much so, they even won the second quarter 19-17 in what was a show of real determination.
Even when the action resumed in the second-half and a Magic backlash was expected, the Eagles remained competitive, going down 21-14 in an entertaining third quarter.
However, as the game wore on, Manchester turned up the heat again and a sloppy 31-10 finish in the last 10 minutes cast a cloud over what had otherwise been a solid effort against one of the top teams in the country. Jessie Osarenkhoe top scored with 13 points, while Jakub Bobkowski scored 12.
“It was a rough start and despite the scoreline, collectively we can at least say that we competed, unlike much of the league game earlier in the season,” said stand-in head coach Paul Nilsen.
“To be stuck in such a massive hole after giving up 40 points in the first 10 minutes, but to then win the second quarter and compete like we did in the third is a positive.”
“It’s a pity that we faded at the end but the game has left a young team with a lot to think about and reflect on in their quest to continue improving.
“Getting to a fourth game in the National Cup was something the Academy can be proud of,” he concluded.