U16 boys rattle Trafford in great advert for Eagles’ Academy
The U16 boys came close to completing a huge upset after pushing the high flying Trafford Magic at the Vertu Motors Arena before eventually being edged out 81-74.
In breathless game and terrific entertainment for those who saw it, the Eagles produced their best display of the season by far to take one of the Northern Premier League favourites to the wire. So much so, that with just 20 seconds remaining it was a 4-point game and only a huge dagger three from Trafford sealed the deal before they saw out the hard-fought win from the free-throw line.
The Eagles stuck to the game plan and completely disrupted Trafford in everything they did by playing tough and discipled defence. They turned up the dial with the help in a big way and also caused more and more issues pressing their opponents as the game went on.
Down 25-18 after the first period, the Eagles produced their best quarter of the campaign so far to tie things up at 41-41 at half-time. Consistently competing at both ends of the court, taking better care of the ball, spacing the floor and being aggressive, the opportunity for a shock win became clear.
However, Trafford were always going to react and so it proved as they started the second half like a team who had been stung. They regained their composure and threatened to streak away with a huge run that gave them a double-digit lead.
To their massive credit, the Eagles dug deep and having been down 63-51 moving into the last 10 minutes, came roaring back and set up a thrilling conclusion before just coming up short.
Jakub Bobkowski starred with 19 points, as did playmaker George Merrifield with 16 points. Alex Cisse also did a good job on the glass with 9 boards, but in reality it was an encouraging team effort.
“I am proud of what we did and to think we came off the court disappointed not to have beaten one of the top teams in the league shows the stride we have made,” said head coach Chloe Gaynor.
“We have truly set a standard now in how to compete, how to be aggressive, have energy and stick to a game plan.
“It was only one poor quarter that stopped us and now it’s all about maintaining the level, whoever the opponent is in front of us.”