Newcastle Eagles Women824161664Loss

Newcastle Eagles WBBL suffered a second loss in four days after failing to contain an in-form Caledonia Pride north of the border.

Chris Bunten’s side were beaten 78-64 by the confident hosts in the first of four WBBL Trophy group games.

And Newcastle travel to Durham next Saturday, in the same competition, seeking to arrest a three-game losing streak that is already threatening to derail a promising season.

The visitors were clearly suffering a hangover from last week’s shock league defeat against Durham as Pride raced into a 22-8 first quarter lead.

And although the Eagles took the second quarter by nine points the damage had been done during a disastrous opening 10 minutes.


Even Rachael Bland’s presence in the starting five, the guard passed fit despite carrying a hamstring problem, failed to inspire a flat footed Newcastle.

And Bunten must be wondering what has gone wrong for a side that started 2019 with brilliant back-to-back wins.

Once again it was left to WBBL rookie Maya Price to provide the positives on an afternoon when little went right for the black and whites.

The teenager added seven boards to her Eagles-high 19 points in just 30 minutes – shooting eight from 12 from the field.

And her accuracy was in stark contrast to a worryingly out-of-sorts Giulia Simioni as the Newcastle skipper converted just five of her 18 shots.

Pride started the second half in much the same manner as they had begun the first and extended their lead to 15 points heading into the final period.

A tied fourth quarter guaranteed the Scots a deserved win and left Bunten with plenty to ponder ahead of next weekend’s trip down the A1.

Once again a failure to cap the turnover count hardly helped the errant Tynesiders as the Eagles surrendered possession 25 times.

And the fact that Pride out-rebounded their rivals 61-49 will hardly have gone unnoticed by the Newcastle coaching staff as they bid to toughen up a confidence-sapped side.

Eagles WBBL next face Durham away on February 2 with a 3pm tip.