Mersey Tigers went into the game with a seven point deficit to make up and buoyed by the fact that the Eagles were again without Fab Flournoy due to injury although in the early exchanges it was the visitors who edged ahead 9-5.

Within a couple of minutes the home side had found some offensive rhythm and an 8-2 run put them in front before successful free-throws by Charles Smith tied things up at 13-13 approaching the midway point of the opening period.

It was still level at 19-19 when Kadiri Richard threw down a dunk for the visitors and then with 44 seconds left, a triple by Andre Lockhart looked to have given the Eagles the upper hand at 24-22.

However as Flournoy’s men were soon to find out, Nate Reinking had other ideas and he scored four points to ensure the Tigers were 26-24 in front after the first quarter.

There was little between the teams during the second period and with 90 seconds left until the interval, a score by Richard levelled matters at 44-44.

Once again the Tigers had the last say in the period as Andrew Sullivan finished the scoring for the half with a dunk to put his new team 48-46 ahead as the team left the court.

Whatever was said in the Eagles locker room didn’t work. They crumbled and within three minutes were down by 9 points at 57-48 after a Reinking triple.

Two free-throws by Sullivan put Tigers 66-51 in front as the nightmare quarter continued to unfold for the Eagles and their misery was complete when a triple by David Aliu helped the home team to a 78-62 lead heading into the final ten minutes of action.

While the lead on the night was a commanding 16 points, Eagles fans will have been reminding themselves that it was only a ten point margin they needed to make up to get to yet another showpiece final,

However those dreams were soon in tatters as the hosts stretched their advantage to a commanding 20 point margin at 87-67 with the misfiring Eagles backcourt unable to match the production of Reinking.

Foul trouble them made things impossible for the Eagles who began to lose their cool with Trey Moore receiving a technical as he fouled out against his former club hot on the heels of forwards Darius Defoe and Kadiri Richard.

None of that mattered to Coach Garbelotto and his players who were only too happy to celebrate another hugely convincing success against the Eagles as they moved to within 40 minutes of another piece of silverware.