BBL Championship
Bristol Flyers 71 (15,36,55) (Lee 19, McFarland 18, Streete 13)
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 84 (25,50,76) (A. Thomson 19, Fletcher 13, S. Thomson 11)
Esh Group Eagles have maintained their perfect start to the BBL Championship campaign with an 84-71 road win at Bristol Flyers, meaning they have started with five victories. Eagles also maintained their unbeaten record, of 6-0, against the Flyers in all BBL competitions, having last beaten them in the Play-Off quarter finals last season.
This win was inspired by a 19 point and 9 rebound haul from Andy Thomson, and came about after the Eagles established an early double-digit lead. Having trailed, some strong inside play from Newcastle, and ill-discipline from the hosts, led to the Eagles scoring 11 points at the free-throw line, shooting 92%, in a three-minute spell.
Stuart Thomson added a three-pointer on the first quarter buzzer for a score of 15-25 and that margin would only drop back into single-figures for a couple of minutes in the second period. Eagles dominated the first half, showing their Championship nous, by hitting 16/17 free-throws and scoring 14 points from the 11 turnovers they forced, with the Thomson brothers combining for 21 points.
At 36-50 heading into the third period, Newcastle looked like they might be the first team to score a century this season; but, despite going through the twenty-point barrier when Charles Smith scored to make the score 65-45, a more solid second half from Bristol kept the game closer late on, although Eagles were never threatened.