Date Time League Season
May 12, 2024 5:00 pm Women's Playoffs Semi-Final 2023-24

Seriös Group Newcastle Eagles forward Chloe Gaynor came up with a match-winning blocked shot in the dying seconds of her side’s thrilling 71 – 69 Women’s British Basketball League Quarter Final playoff victory in Sheffield last Sunday.

It now leaves Newcastle 40 minutes away from an appearance at The O2 Arena London next Sunday. Standing in their way are Caledonia Gladiators who finished second in the regular season standings and beat Newcastle twice on the way to that position.

Eagles were victorious against Sheffield Hatters to set up a Semi-Final tie with Caledonia Gladiators. (Photos: Abbie Orwin)

Gaynor, a player now in her third season with Newcastle, believes she and her teammates have a chance to produce a second successive surprise win this afternoon at The PlaySport Arena in East Kilbride.

“We were really pleased with the result last Sunday and it’s something that we knew we could achieve and we did. It was something we were happy in celebrating. But then Monday comes and you get on with the task in hand and it’s been business as usual since then.”

“We thought that we could beat Sheffield and that was something that really helped us get the job done. We had that confidence and we knew we should be competing with them after the game at home which we gave away.”

“A lot of people thought that came was done and we wouldn’t win. That gives us confidence going into today’s game. There’s another team there that’s a higher seed but one we feel we should be competing with.”

There’s no doubting though that Head Coach Matt Newby’s team have to take another step up against Caledonia if they are going to continue this superb run of form they are on which has seen them win four games in a row.

“We can’t deny it’s going to be a tough task. We played them second game of the season and then the second game was on the back of a tough double-header. We’ve not had the best of situations when we’ve played against them.”

“But they were both games we’ve learned massively from. They’ve had a good season. They’ve had more games than us having played in the EuroCup and they’ve played against a high level of opposition.”

“They are natural competitors and we know they always go for forty minutes. In order to get the win and achieve the goal to get to the O2 we have to be competitors and compete with them and there’s no letting up for forty minutes.”

There’s a real element of confidence, excitement and anticipation around this Eagles team though as they approach this afternoon’s game as Gaynor went on to explain.

“I think we’re pretty determined. That’s the best way to describe it. Everyone felt that buzz on Sunday of getting that win and for some people it’s their first time in playoffs as a professional. For others in The Club its been a long time getting that win.”

“It’s something that when I first came to Newcastle the aim was to get us on the track to winning and being that team that Newcastle Eagles are known for. So we’re on a mission to get back to that being an identity. We’re all very determined and ready for today.”

The tip-off this afternoon is at 5:00pm and whatever the result it’s a fitting tribute to the way that this Newcastle side has turned their season around that they have a chance to end it all in great style.

The game is free to watch live on the Women’s British Basketball League YouTube channel.