The last competitive game your Esh Group Eagles Newcastle played in the 2015/16 season was at the same venue that the 2016/17 season will start. That night although we took the win on the night, the damage had been done in the home leg and we crashed out of the Play-Offs at the first hurdle.

Whilst a summer of recharging and re-shaping has now settled and both teams have re-grouped and re-loaded there’s still enough of us around to know and feel that we owe Phoenix one in our opening championship game of the season.

Cheshire Phoenix v Esh Group Eagles Newcastle

Details: Sunday 25 September, Cheshire Oaks Arena, 5:30pm – BBL Championship

Summary: Cheshire ended Newcastle’s season prematurely with a victory in the opening round of the Play-Offs and have new leadership under Colin O’Reilly. The Eagles have brought in some fresh faces and can no longer call upon Charles Smith – who announced his retirement this week.

Last season: Phoenix 1-2 Eagles (2-6 all comps)

Josh Wilcher, Phoenix guard – “We play two of the premier teams in the league this weekend so it’s going to be a tough start, but we feel like we are good enough to compete. It’s important to get off to a good start and a lot of teams will be in the same position of still trying to come together.”