The Champagne is on ice for Marc Steutel’s hoops heroes as Team Northumbria prepare for one of the biggest weeks of their season. The in-form ballers bagged promotion to EBL Division One with three games to spare following an 88-55 demolition of Birmingham A’s.
But the promotion party has been put on hold as TN prepare for Friday’s Stan Calvert Cup clash against Newcastle and a tough trip to Southampton the following day. Assistant coach Josh Merrington said: “We were athletic all year. Our goal was to get promoted and it’s great to see we have achieved it.
“But we definitely want to go up as champions and will continue to work hard this week.”
Friday’s Sport Central clash against Newcastle University (4.15pm) tips off immediately before Newcastle Eagles’ BBL showdown with Plymouth Raiders. And 24 hours later TN will be down on the south coast to face Steutel’s former club Team Solent knowing one more league win should seal the Division Two title.
The club thoroughly deserve their place in the top flight after a season that has been all about team work, effort and belief. And TN achieved their goal by dominating both offence and defence throughout the course of a one-sided clash against Birmingham.
Steutel’s skipper Siman Stewart was the rock at the heart of a fantastic display as the hosts quickly took the game to another physical level.
TN were explosive in attack as Merrington and Kevin Woolbrinck put points on the board in style to give their team a five-point lead at the end of the first quarter.
Ivan Emanuely and Jamie Glen got into their stride and increased the lead in the second and third quarters to leave the A’s with a 23-point deficit going into the final period.
And Steutel’s stars looked like they were enjoying every minute as their tempo and crisp passing impressed.
TN’s delighted playcaller could barely mask his joy at the end of the match – knowing all of his hard work and commitment to a young side had paid off.
“We came in at the start of the week and looked really positive and motivated,” said Steutel. “We had a really good session on Thursday which put us in good shape for the Birmingham game.
“We showed great defensive nous. That has been key to our success this season.”
The promotion means a BBL and EBL 1 spot for the Egales Team Northumbria club, the only mens programme in the country to achieve this goal.