Newcastle Eagles 52 v Manchester Magic 72
Starting 5 Luke Tucker, Arran Dower, Tyler Cadete, Alfie Rhodes, Billy Crawshaw
Coach Darius Defoe / Assistant Coach Dominic Taylor
Both teams entered into this game undefeated in the season so far, so the Eagles knew they were in for a test.
Newcastle won the tip and end to end play followed. Manchester were the first to make a run, adding 11 points to the scoreboard despite Newcastle defensive efforts. Harry Merrifield was first to get his name onto the score sheet for the Eagles. Luke Tucker stepped up the defence at the Manchester end denying them a shot at the basket. The fouls came thick and fast from Manchester and with 5 on the board Harry Merrifield stepped up to the free thrown line to take full advantage and it seemed like the Eagles had found their rhythm causing Manchester to call a time out. Both teams headed back onto the floor determined and a long pass down the court saw Joseph Flint add his name to the scoresheet. Another big defensive play from Luke Tucker at the Manchester end sent the ball back to the Eagles end where Harry Merrifield was able to take advantage of another foul by Manchester and add more points to his tally. A steal from Arran Dower gave the Eagles 2 more points. Not to be outdone Billy Crawshaw recreated the steal and score for 2 of his own. Manchester, however, were quick to answer and tied the game. Harry Merrifield added 2 more. It was the Eagles turn to be in foul trouble sending Manchester to the free throw line for 1 point. Lewis Pinnock was next to add his name to the score sheet and the quarter ended 18-14 tot eh Eagles.
Harry Merrifield got quarter 2 underway with a 2-point shot but Manchester quickly added 2 shots of their own. End to end play followed but the scoring drought was ended by Luke Tucker with a 3-point shot. Manchester went on a run with 4 unanswered baskets and the quarter ended 29-36 to Manchester
Quarter 3 opened with the defensive duo of Tucker and Dower denying Manchester’s first attempt at a basket. Play flowed end to end once again with both team’s defence standing strong causing Coach Darius to call a time out. A technical foul sent Luke Tucker to the free throw line where he took full advantage. Team fouls crept up again for both teams and Manchester were the first to take advantage. Next it was Leo Glaholm’s turn to step up to the free throw line. Manchester went off on a run scoring 2 baskets for Newcastle’s one and the quarter ended 35-50.
Manchester started the final quarter with a bang but Harry Merrifield was having none of it and added another basket to his tally. Manchester struck again but the Eagles kept battling. Billy Crawshaw fought his way to the basket to add 2 more points to his tally. After a quick time out the teams headed back out to the floor and Manchester struck first with a point from the free throw line. Billy Crawshaw took advantage of Manchester’s foul woes. With 3 minutes to play Manchester began to stretch their lead however Tyler Cadete stopped their run by adding his name to the scoresheet. Ewen Aditjandra landed his first basket of the game in the final minutes but this was to little to late and the Eagles suffered their first defeat of the season with the game ending 52-72 in Manchester’s favour
The boys have next weekend off from league duty and they will be attending Basketball England’s Aspire programme, however they are looking froward to their next away game when they visit Manchester Giants.