Worthing Thunder 86 (26,49,71) (Bratton 21, Zabas 17, Cricelli 16)
Newcastle Eagles 96 (32,58,75) (Smith 23, Chapman 19, Stewart 18)
BBL Trophy holders Newcastle Eagles are through to the semi-finals of this years competition with an 86- 96 win on the road at Worthing Thunder.
Worthing took an early 9-4 lead on a Sam Cricelli basket but Eagles were quick to level at 11-11 through Darius Defoe and then took their first lead with an Andrew Bridge three.
Free throws by Charles Smith and Lynard Stewart and a Fab Flournoy putback from a Smith three gave Eagles a 23-30 lead before Evaldas Zabas hit back with a three. Joe Chapman completed the scoring in the first quarter to give Newcastle a 26-32 lead.
Chapman was the story of the second period as he made four consecutive three pointers before eventually missing one almost as the half ended. His shooting helped hold off a determined Worthing offence led by Cricelli and Zabas.
The fourth of Chapmans threes made it 47-56 and Defoe made it a double-digit game at 47-58 before a Kadiri Richard dunk reduced the gap to 49-58 at half time.
Worthing were excellent after the break with a 19-9 run giving them a 68-67 lead. However, Newcastle responded well and a 4-0 burst to close the third quarter had the visitors 71-75 on top.
Thunder twice got back to within one point of the Eagles, but each time Charles Smith scored to keep his team just far enough in front. A 13-4 run started by a Smith three finished the match in Eagles favour to set up a two-legged semi-final against Everton Tigers.
The dates are now set and the Eagles will host the first leg at home on Sunday 28th February, tip-off 6pm. The second leg will be played at Everton on Friday 5th March, replacing the scheduled league fixture.
The home game on the 28th can be accessed by Eagles season ticket holders as part of the 2009-10 season ticket.